Monday, November 09, 2009

Even Baby Einstein rots your toddler's brain?

Loads of parents out there, including some I know, swear by their Baby Einstein DVDs. In 2006, the Boston-based In 2006, the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) complained about Disney's use of the word "educational" in the series' marketing materials. When Disney complied and dropped the word, CCFC made rumblings about filing a class action law suit against Disney for misleading parents into buying the DVDs after a research group out of Washington University published a study claiming that infants exposed to the DVDs actually knew 10% fewer words than children not exposed to the DVDs.

CCFC has claimed victory now that Disney is offering purchasers a refund of up to $15.99 per Baby Einstein DVD purchased. However, this is not a new refund. The company has had this refund option in place since the beginning of the product line. Baby Einstein says that they have always stood behind their product with a money-back guarantee.

By the way, the Washington University study didn't target just Baby Einstein DVDs. It encompassed ANY supposedly 'education' vidutainment product aimed at toddlers and infants. So, guess what, the American Academy of Pediatrics had a point. Prolonged exposure to vidutainment for children of any age impedes intellectual growth.

Duh. However, two career families can take heart. Allowing your children to enjoy visual entertainment for limited periods of time (so you can decompress, make dinner, do laundry, etc.) As long as you interact with your children (perhaps sit down with them and read a book) on a regular basis, they probably still have a chance at Harvard.

Couldn't make up my mind for a theme song for this post, so you get two:

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