Elizabeth over at Bleakonomy amused me with this article about Disney admitting the Baby Einstein products are not educational, and may actually harm children’s development.

Get your refund information here. Unless your kid *is* a genius. In that case, enjoy your Disney and ignore me, because I’d be arguing that Jr.’s mental bandwidth is due to your stellar parenting and excellent genes not some lame gimick. Silly me.

Heck, let your kids play with or watch whatever you choose. But for heaven’s sake, let’s someone please tell those people who really believe that they will change their child’s life with a DVD that it’s marketing, not science.

And consider a pop on over to the Campaign for a Commerical-Free Childhood, where they support my refusal to show my kid anything that makes him want characters on his Band-Aids, shoes, or underpants. Why? Cuz I ain’t advertising their bullshit products on my kid. That’s why.

(Yup, Peanut is still getting movie day every Wed for one hour. Too late, AAP, you said age one when he was born and we held out that long. For a year (from age 1 to 2) he only got half an hour—once a week—and it was all Signing Time, which I personally found hugely educational and useful to his vocabulary, his signing, and his fascination with other children. He didn’t get any TV before age one, barring accidental restaurant exposure to organized sports (blech) and one afternoon when he napped in the same room that we watched the first half of Brokeback Mountain. Now *that*’s educational.)

6 thoughts on “[cackling]

  1. I am really impressed with your stand. No tv until he was one? Fantastic. And no characters? Amazing! I think almost all of my kids’ shirts have a character on them (superheroes or otherwise). Feeling like a sell out right now, sort of.

    But I’m not unhappy that my kids often hum classical music. Or recognize it (specifically as “Baby Einstein” music). Maybe they would have done that anyway, as I do play it a lot. But I honestly think that it came from them loving the Baby Einstein DVDs. Plus, I liked the little puppet shows. :) I never bought into the whole They Will Make Your Baby Smarter! idea, for what it’s worth. But I can’t see how they would be harmful, if watched a mere 20 minutes a day…

  2. Totally agree, Ink. The NYT article has a lot of comments from parents who say the vids helped their children, say, overcome a fear of water or relax after stressful days. Absolutely ideal, if you ask me. I stand by my assertion that, if it makes you or your kids happy, by all means, do whatever makes the day better. Whatever better means to you. But I know a lot of people, mostly grandparents, who think it’s child abuse to *not* watch tv. They buy everything Baby Einstein because they think it’s their ticket to Harvard.
    You can get quite a bit of spare change if you still have the DVDs, btw. No receipts or questions asked.

  3. Yeah, the people with their sights on Harvard should probably be saving their money for the tuition rather than blowing it on Baby Einstein stuff. ;)

  4. Nap, you are amazing! If I’d gone a full year without t.v., I’d be sucking my thumb in the fetal position.

    Miss D. loved those Baby Einstein videos…but even the dumbest moron can figure out they’re just eye candy…

  5. I can’t believe any one would think that letting a baby or toddler watch TV would make them smarter. Really, people? A friend gave us the whole collection of Your Baby Can Read DVDs. They’re still in the box.
    And Nap, darling, sweetheart, love of my life, how the heck did you ever shower during those last months of the first year?

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