Baby Einstein, what an oxymoron!

Let me begin by saying I’m not a big fan of Baby Einstein. In fact, it’s safe to say I wish they’d go bankrupt and save the space on the store shelves for products that are actually good for babies. So I thought I would write about it on my blog so that everyone could recieve wisdom about that oxymoron called Baby Einstein. I say that it’s an oxymoron because these videos are in fact, harmful to your childs intelligence and overall development. I know this first of all, because everything in my education so far has taught me that child development is not passive. Children learn and develop through experiencing, touching, chewing, smelling, tasting, jumping, tripping, etc. In short, children learn and develop through play. Children (and especially babies who the Baby Einstein videos are marketed for) learn through interaction with objects and people. Through this they learn things like spatial development (e.g. being able to accurately gauge distances and their place within the environment), object permanence (e.g. mom still exists even if I can’t see her), sound recognition, vocal skills, vocabulary, social cues, I could go on and on. What of this short list can Baby Einstein teach? Maybe sound recognition if you let your baby watch Baby Einstein in Surround Sound so they can get the full sound experience of hearing a giraffe.

Still don’t believe me? I’m not alone on this go ahead and check this link and this one and this one and this one and lastly, don’t forget to read this interview with the creator of Baby Einstein who explicitly states that she did not make this to help her child (or anyones child) be smarter or to ensure proper development. She did it simply as a way to expose her child to ‘the arts’ which she is narrowly defining as classical music. You’ll notice that the links I supplied are not just from popular magazines (such as TIME) but they are also from the association that your pediatrician belongs to (the American Academy of Pediatrics). Go ahead and ask ANY pediatrician whether any child under two should watch any television they will respond with a quick ‘No”.

Get the picture? Have I said enough? Now let me say one last thing. Baby Einstein toys are just great for children. The same as any toy from Mattel, Fisher Price, made on a sewing machine or in woodshop, etc. My gripe is not with the toys (although I haven’t seen Baby Einstein win any awards for their toys). My gripe is simply with their movies. I also believe that its deceptive marketing to call their movies Baby Einstein because it would insinuate that their product helps babies be smarter (which if you read in the interview, she states that she named it Baby Einstein because of Einsteins’ love of the arts. Yeah. That’s what we all know Einstein for is his love of the arts…pah!). Anyhow, I hope I have endulged enough people out there about the harmful nature of Baby Einstein movies. I would love to answer any questions out there about what are some good toys or things for children. I have a few favorites. Also, I would love to hear any comments about Baby Einstein. Lastly, I would love to hear any comments from parents who parked their child in front of the Baby Einstein movies and feel their child is smarter for it.

10 Responses to Baby Einstein, what an oxymoron!

  1. Wow – tell us how you really feel? Don't hold back now!

    I let my little guy watch baby Einstein & I personally feel like he is slower in some areas – especially speech. I had heard some negative feedback about letting him watch the movies – but brushed it off. I am now seeing that I should've listened. Don't think that I parked his little keester in front of the shows all day – it was only once (for a shower) and on occassion twice if he was cranky while I was cooking dinner. I think they can teach some things (colors…pictures of motor vehicles…animals) – but hands on is the way to go. It's how they learn to interact/play/communicate with others.

    Happy Halloweenie!

  2. Aaron, I definitely agree with you on this post! Television is not the way to go with children under the age of 2, interactive learning is the best way for them to learn. Yet, I feel it would better to show those movies rather than much of the scum that is found on the tube these days, as long as it is for a very short, short time.

  3. I just thought you might be interested in this article.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/24/education/24baby.html?_r=2

    I totally agree with your post. I think any t.v. before age two is detrimental and it would drive me insane how both my babysitters would let their kids(and Miles despite request that they wouldn't turn on the t.v. on the one day a week he was at their houses)watch t.v. Jared and my mom still put Miles in front of the t.v. more than I would like(I tend to think that it should be a 1-2x a week thing for only 1/2 hour)but I hope I do enough reading time to compensate for the damages they do! 🙂

  4. I loved Baby Einstein with Lincoln, and he is 3 and reads, knows sight words, all his letters, and many big important words. Henry still won't watch TV, never saw Baby Einstein, and is a little delayed due to hearing,

    I believe that moderation should still be used in all things, but I don't think there is anything inherently wrong with Baby Einstein as opposed to any other TV show!

    P.S. Rise and Shout!

  5. Heatherbelle,

    You bring up another hot topic for me. How do we as concerned parents keep babysitters (and devote grandma's) from letting our kids watch T.V. I have the same problem with my mom. She thinks that part of her duty as grandma is to let her grandkids watch as much TV as they possibly would ever want whenever they come to visit. The worst part of it is that they live on a farm and there are lots of other things that my daughters would love to do if they weren't watching TV. To me it seems that TV helps them babysit so the more TV the better.

  6. J-n-J

    How dare you write such blaspheme on my blog as "Rise and…" (I will not repeat the words you used). I may need to do another anti-BYU post in order to release this blog from the curse you placed on it by this blaspheme. 🙂

  7. Love Doctor,
    I am going to disagree with you on this one. I think all parents should let, if not force, their kids to watch Baby Einstein. In fact they should let their kids watch TV all the time. I can use every advantage to help my kid excel, and if dumbing down the competition will help, then sign me up. After all, college is not cheap. If we lower the standards then it will be easier for my kid to surpass them and get a scholarship. Then with the money I save I can buy a big TV and let my grand kids park their little backsides in front of it whenever they come to visit.

    P.S. I also posted a comment for your October 8th posting.

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