I could have told you watching a dumb video as a baby doesn’t make you a genius. Seriously, do you think my parents had a VCR when I was a baby? Nope. My genius status is innate!
Every parent wants their kid to be smart. No one wants a moron for a kid. But of course, every kid isn’t born a genius, so many companies try to capitalize off of this and the “first time parent syndrome”- where new parents will try any and everything that is advertised to give kids a better life or make them a better/smarter person.
There has been a long time battle brewing between Susan Linn of Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood and the makers of Baby Einstein disputing the educational value of children watching videos at an early age.
Susan’s group contends that ”The Walt Disney Company’s entire Baby Einstein marketing regime is based on express and implied claims that their videos are educational and beneficial for early childhood development,” The lawyers for Campaign for Commercial-Free Childhood issued a letter to The Walt Disney Co. calling those claims “false because research shows that television viewing is potentially harmful for very young children.”
In 2006, Susan Linn’s group went to the FTC with these claims. No action was taken by the FTC, but the word “educational” was dropped from the Baby Einstein marketing campaign.
On September 4, 2009 Baby Einstein company announced they will refund $15.99 for up to four “Baby Einstein” DVDs per household, bought between June 5, 2004, and Sept. 5, 2009, and returned to the company. The deal enables parents to exchange their video for a different title, receive a discount coupon, or get $15.99 each for up to four returned DVDs, requires no receipt, and lasts until next March 10.
Baby Einstein said this has always been their custumer satisfaction policy since 1999 and is no form of admission of guilt, only a means to maintain customer satisfaction and stand behind their product.
My parenting philosophy is basically, most things are ok for a child as long as it is supervised and done in moderation. I will be the first parent to admit that I tried to plunker an infant Morris in front of a tv, but he just wasn’t having it. He had ZERO interest with anything on tv. Drat! (I even had a nice HD flat screen, darn kids are so unappreciative nowadays)…So, we spent many seemingly endless days wrestling on the floor, chasing each other, reading books, and darting from toy to toy as entertainment.
I guess all this “work” was really quality time with my son in disguise. Although the first 2 years of his life were harder than my last 2 years of college, there is no doubt that it helped create the start of our amazing mother/son bond. We have a great connection and I credit that to the creative efforts I had to put in to keep my short attention span child occupied 14 hours of the day.
If videos work for you, great. As a parent, only you know what’s right for you and your household.Go with your parenting gut. It didn’t work for us, but only by default. Besides, Morris watches so many videos now, he is definitely making up for his lost toddler matinees.