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.