Baby Einstein Ain't So Smart.

FINALLY! Some validation from the mainstream media about at least one aspect of mine and Dean's rogue parenting choices. I don't need validation, no. But it sure does feel nice every so often.

A recent article in the New York Times, entitled "No Einstein In Your Crib? Get A Refund" confirms mine and Dean's rigid anti-t.v. stance for young children--DVD's and so-called educational t.v. programs do not and cannot educate children under the age of two. Essentially, the Walt Disney Company, Baby Einstein is a hoax. Electronic babysitter--yes, miracle teacher in a box--um . . . no. And, truly it takes no genius to figure that out.

Despite the fact that the American Association of Pediatrics recommends no tube time before the age of two, I cannot count how many times advice that touts the raving success of baby videos has been offered to us--and "it's educational!", they validate. When introducing children to the ol' box of brain junk at the tender age of 6 months, it's a no brainer why childhood obesity rates, early claims of attention deficit disorders and drop out rates are on the rise in the U.S.

Parents desperate for a moment of "me" time no doubt find relief in the distractability that television brings. I get that--I really do. But as I defended in an earlier post, the right choices in parenting are usually those with the most difficult follow-through. Finding other distractions for your children while you pee, brush your pearly whites or prepare dinner is possible--it's just harder, yes--as are the endless possibilities for finding teachable moments sans t.v. But it's doable, so very doable.

Being a parent is hard and being a really, really good parent is even harder. But I believe that we owe it to these little guys to offer them everything that this incredible world around us has to give: music, animals, art, nature and positive interaction with others all offer cheap and intriguing endless opportunities for distraction and education.


O'Brien said...

The other night I put Sam (almost 13months) into an old sling and she helped me cook dinner. I'm sure that it helps to keep the new found independence in check and teaches her a love of cooking as well as eating healthily. It really was easy, even easier then sticking her in front of the TV would have been because I don't have to keep and eye on her:) I will admit one afternoon I was sick and gave her a snack in front of a musical video for 30 minutes....but I was SICK!!!

jacqueline f. said...

joni! i'm with you 100%! no TV! no baby einstein! we have some of the books. got them as a gift. ugh, they are so poorly written. missing you!

xo jacqueline


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