Baby Einstein not so smart

I wrote a post a while back on feeling guilty where I spoke about the lack of exposure my child has had to Baby Einstein and educational DVDs. A new study has posited that showing educational DVDs to children has little or no educational benefit, and may actually harm them. So I’ll scrub away that particular guilt-creator.

While I don’t show educational DVDs to my daughter, I’m not going to be one of those mothers who bans her child from television. My daughter now loves Playschool, and when the opening music comes on, she shouts “Blayscoo!” I have to say (don’t tell anyone) that I quite enjoy it too. Whereas the Wiggles make me want to eat my own leg off. And Dorothy the Dinosaur’s show is atrocious. The fairies are the worst actors I’ve ever seen. Not that my daughter cares – she shouts “Dino!” and claps. So I put up with it, just for her.


Filed under children's television, education, motherhood, parenthood, television

8 responses to “Baby Einstein not so smart

  1. Pingback: Club Troppo » Friday’s Missing Link - on Friday!

  2. Those “Baby Einstein” products play on people’s fears. My step-mother tried to “guilt” me about not buying them. But it’s nonsense. The two best indicators for a child’s intelligence are: Genetics and a healthy interactive environment.

    Engaging your child is what helps them, but people always are looking for a “Quick Fix.” Play a DVD and/or CD and it will turn my child into a “Genius.”

    On a different note. LE You have been “Tagged”

    Check the link for instructions.

    Glad you’re back.

  3. Your secret’s safe with me, Legal Eagle… The quality of children’s programming is far above some of the other shows on offer at that time.

    Best kids’ show on telly at the moment, I reckon, is ‘Young Dracula’, on ABC Monday afternoons, a half-hour comedy about Dracula’s family. Dracula himself is hammed up by some hilarious British actor – he plays the part of a well-meaning vampire, who just wants his kids to grow up to nice and malicious like himself. Naturally, his kids have other ideas… It’s more of a show for the eights to twelves, though.

    The Wiggles are interesting to watch, too, though more from an analytical perspective – you can look out for the children’s show conventions and techniques.

  4. Tim T, I knew we were en rapport! I LOVE Young Dracula.

    I love the fact that all the kids don’t like the plans that their fathers have for them (Robin wants to be a vampire, Vlad wants to be a normal kid, Jonathan just doesn’t want to be a vampire slayer at all). I love the hammy Count Dracula too. He’s so camp. With bone structure like that he must always play Dracula…

  5. lostinsuburbia

    I have lurked here for awhile, and I have to say, I agree. Remember when tv for kids was for pure entertainment? When they explored the fantastic, improbable and just down right silly?

    I had a friend enquire at our local Day care centre about having her daughter placed there part time and they started talking about curriculum. The child is 6months old! Provided a child’s natural curiosity is nurtured by parents who engage their children in conversations then chances are their intelligence quoatiants will be exactly what they should be.

    All the DVD’s and CD’s in the world will do diddly squat without real conversations.

    I hate those Fairies too.

  6. I note my old high school now has childcare for 6 months and up with a curriculum. Snort!

    Lostinsuburbia, maybe I’m nasty, but I think the whole “curriculum” thing is designed to make anxious parents feel less guilty about leaving their child in childcare. To wit, “You are leaving your precious baby all day with us, but it’s educational so it’s actually better than being at home with you.”

    The childcare one is a hard one. What other option do parents have in this day and age? And if you’re not lucky enough to have grandparents living close by who are willing to care for the child, what else can you do? But I’d rather my child just be allowed to play than have a “curriculum”. Making your own fun is such an important part of growing up.

  7. lostinsuburbia

    nope not nasty, I am right there with you. I made the choice to stay home with my children rather than place them daycare. (I was fortunate enough to be able to do so) But now, now that my youngest is due to fly off to school next year it leaves me completely displaced. No qualifications, no experience, nothing. Even alternative entry to Uni is proving a challenge. (One I can win, but it’s going to take some true grit on my part)

    Daycare and it’s curriculum pushing have become a necessary evil. When did we stop recognising free play as an educational pathway for kids? They learn through play, imagination is the key to everything. All our advancements are due to some one indulging their imagination, asking what if, why not or I wonder…

    Which makes me wonder, what damage are we doing by structuring their play?

  8. I’m going through the pre-school struggle right now with my daughter’s mother. Our daughter is only 3 1/2 and her mother wants her to go to a pre-school that costs $12,000 a year. It’s ridiculous, but she’s convinced she’s not “learning” enough.

    I’m self-employed so I keep Bella home with me most days. We practice our letters, shapes, and numbers, but mostly I just let her play. My thinking is it’s obvious she is very bright, and I’m not worried she’ll “fall behind” even though she is almost to the ripe old age of four.

    Her mother though is very big on appearances, and it’s important Bella goes to one of the “good” schools.

    It’s too bad Homeland Security has never picked her up.

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