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August 07, 2007

news shocker: baby einstein makes kids dumb

Baby_einsteinAs a full-time working mom, whose kids are in preschool/aftercare from 8 am to 6 pm, I have little standing to promote myself as a particularly competent parent.  But in this case, there is an actual benefit from the fact that my children are not home enough hours to watch any significant amount of television:  as it turns out, the so-called 'educational' videos and whatnot actually delay learning rather than promote it, according to numerous studies quoted by Time Magazine and the L.A. Times. 

To be honest, I couldn't be less surprised.  Those creepy Baby Einstein vids, featuring lava lamps and children's toys, always struck me as suspect. Not only are their production values beyond minimal -- I mean, how hard can it be to film a child's toy to the soundtrack of classical music? -- but their repetitive nature and pushy marketing (you don't want the other kids to have an unfair advantage, do you?  better have your kids watch these videos!) always gave me a certain icky feeling.

Now that icky feeling has been confirmed.  I wonder if any class action lawsuits will result ... or if instead, parents will wait for the diagnosis of ADD, or the poor grades, or the poor social skills of their children to emerge, before filing suit?   Advice to the Baby-Einstein-Burned-Millions:  don't let that statute of limitations expire!


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