Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Baby Einstein has to admit their DVDs do not educate

posted by Nell Minow

Three cheers for the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood. In a press release issued today, CCFC announced that “As a result of CCFC’s Federal Trade Commission complaint, Baby Einstein has completely redesigned its website and is no longer making educational claims about its DVDs and videos.”
I have been a long-time critic of DVDs for under-twos and am delighted that they can no longer be marketed as “educational.” Studies have shown that babies learn less from watching these DVDs than they do from spending the same amount of time observing the world around them. The FTC and Disney have acknowledged what parents have known for thousands of years — that babies learn best from interaction and observation.



  • exousia

    FINALLY! The tool that created “slack-jawed” children in front of the TV isn’t considered “educational”. I owned a Christian Daycare for many years. I was baffled when parents, knowing what our TV “guidelines” were, would bring these DVD’s and almost insist that their child watch them at least 2 hrs/day. I never caved in, always stressing that human interaction and time outside exploring (even if from a stroller) had to be more educational. If not more educational, certainly more important in the long run. And if the parent’s felt that strongly about it, there were many DayCare providers that probably agreed with them-I’m sure there were openings.
    The response from the parents was consistently “but I saw on TV that it will give them the leg-up on other children…….”
    I was creating an environment where children wanted interaction with the people around them, and to be active and to explore. What they wanted were children that were happy to sit in front of the TV all evening.
    Nothing can replace the knowledge of the adults around children. The touch of a flower, the feeling of grass under their little feet and the reading of books by grown-ups to children.
    Please don’t let a DVD personality be the main person in your child’s life. Or if you do, remember when your child is a bit older and doesn’t talk with you…………….that you created the environment.

  • Nell Minow

    Thanks so much, Exousia! The children in your care were very lucky and so were their parents.

  • OCMom

    Check out Into the Minds of Babies: How Screen Time Affects Children from Birth to Age Five. This is an excellent book for parents who want to learn more about the degree to which TV educates kids. Lisa Guernsey doesn’t condemn TV for kids outright; in fact, she offers great examples of television programs that can actually foster learning (Blues Clues, for example). She devotes practically an entire chapter to the Baby Einstein series. She argues that the bombardment of images in these videos–designed ostensibly to hold a baby’s short attention span–makes perfect sense to adults who can sort out what the images mean. But, the images utterly confuse babies and puts them in an almost catatonic state where their brains are trying to figure out how they go together. My oldest daughter (who will turn 3 in May) watched the videos, and while I don’t think she’s been damaged by them, we’ve opted not to show them to our 13-month-old.

Previous Posts

Contest: "Lullaby" -- Family Drama With Amy Adams, Richard Jenkins, and Garrett Hedlund
Garrett Hedlund stars as Jonathan in this uneven but moving drama about a family facing the loss of a husband and father. The performances are excellent, especially Richard Jenkins as the father and "Downton Abbey's" Jessica Brown Findlay as Jonathan's sister. I have two copies of the DVD to give

posted 3:50:33pm Jul. 25, 2014 | read full post »

Comic-Con 2014: Day One
Here's what's at Comic-Con, which means here's what's coming everywhere else: affordable 3D printers with hand-held scanners that transmit 360 degree images to your tablet or laptop instantly. GoPro

posted 11:08:17am Jul. 25, 2014 | read full post »

Remembering the Vietnam War: 10 Movies
As we observe the 50th anniversary of the War in Vietnam, here are ten of the best of the movie and documentary depictions of the war and its impact on history and culture in the United States. The best-known films about Vietnam include "Apocalypse Now," "Full Metal Jacket," "Platoon," "The Deer Hun

posted 8:00:34am Jul. 25, 2014 | read full post »

Lucy
I always enjoy Luc Besson's stylish car chases and shootouts. I like his use of locations, his strong female characters, and unexpected flashes of sentiment in the midst of mayhem.  While

posted 6:00:51pm Jul. 24, 2014 | read full post »

And So It Goes
A second marriage is, as Samuel Johnson famously said, "The triumph of hope over experience." And as lyricist Sammy Cahn wrote in the song Bing Crosby sang in "H

posted 6:00:13pm Jul. 24, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.