Bye-Bye Baby Einstein
For years the American Academy of Pediatrics has been saying that television isn’t good for babies and toddlers, and now, amazingly enough, Disney seems to have gotten the message. Starting this month, they’re offering refunds for their Baby Einstein videos. Of course Disney was pressured to do this, but if it helps parents learn the truth about so-called educational television for babies, I applaud the action no matter how it came about.
My hope is that this move by Disney will inspire parents not only to return the videos they bought, but also encourage new parents to keep the set off from the beginning.
It won’t be easy, mostly because small children can drive even the most even-keeled parent up the wall. New moms and dads who choose to forgo the electronic babysitter are likely to need a lot of support, including help from neighbors, friends and family members. They might also need caregivers and daycare providers who are willing to interact with children, rather than simply putting them in front of a big screen.
Fortunately, the extra work required in the beginning will pay off within a short time. Kids who haven’t learned to rely on television use their imaginations more and are better at entertaining themselves. They’re smarter, too. And as I once said in an article I wrote for the Oregonian, that’s something that Baby Einstein just can’t offer.