Everything in moderation

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Moderation in all things.
Terence, Andria – Roman comic dramatist (185 BC – 159 BC)

Is it really that simple?

The current debate over Baby Einstein potentially being more harmful than helpful puts yet another nail in the guilty parents’ coffin.

For the record, I am not a fan of Baby Einstein. I think parents know their colors, letters and numbers so the educational DVDs are not necessary, and parents will always be their child’s first and most important teacher.

I agree with the American Academy of Pediatrics who is on record saying that children shouldn’t watch any TV until they’re two years old.

I agree that parents’ use of educational programming as babysitters is not a good idea since the message to our children is that this device [TV, DVD, Video, etc.] is where you will get your information from. In years to come, when the messenger is Brittney Spears, it’s obviously problematic.

Parents don’t need yet another guilt trip. Those that accuse parents of micro-managing their kids need to recognize the fact that they are scrutinizing every move parents make.

Nothing (legal) is either good or bad. Moderation is the key to everything.

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2 Comments »

  1. Melissa Fecher said

    Hi Tina. First off, I’m a big fan of the Baby Einstein company. If a parent sits with their child and watches the movies together, listening to the soothing music, and explaining the colors that come on the screen or the numbers that appear, I think it’s super beneficial to the childs growth and devolopment. The Baby Einstein movies have taught my 3 year old sign language. My children listen to Baby Einstein CDs when asleep throughout the night.

    Of course a parent should not leave their infant sitting alone infront of the TV by his/herself watching the movies. That’s not how they were intended to be used. If you sit and watch a movie, after the credits there is Julia Clark, the founder, talking about The Baby Einstein Co and how, if you sit with your child they will learn. You’re sitting there together interacting and going along with the movie, so how is that doing harm??

  2. riddlej said

    Hi Tina. I liked your post. I used to be a big believer in no TV under the age of two, but then I had four babies in a row. Now, we don’t actually have television in our house, but we do have lots of children’s movies and I confess that I have used them ALL the time for babysitting… otherwise I would not have had a shower or prepared dinner in the last five years!

    For the record, all our videos are educational, and our children did learn a lot from them. With our help, they even learned to sit still for half an hour, quietly, and watch, which was good for focusing skills. Our third child learned the most from Blues Clues, and combined with the modeling of his older brothers, he is extremely precocious for only turning two. (Speaks in full sentences, communicates ideas, that sort of thing.)

    However, I think that there is a lot of truth in what you’re saying. I’m glad the Baby Einstein fiasco discouraged parents from letting their infants watch TV. Infants strapped in their bouncy seats in front of spinning shapes hardly seems educational. Most babies won’t even watch a screen for more than a couple minutes. I think that is the biggest sign I need to say that babies and TV probably aren’t compatible. I’m sure some babies learn things from videos, but that probably is because of their parents’ being there. Parents always should be the first and best teachers. TV cannot bring things “alive” for kids.

    So back to your post, I feel schizophrenic. I think educational TV should have a place in the home if parents decide it’s ok. And I think Baby Einstein raised our consciousnesses about infant education. I certainly believe that the world out there is only causing guilt for parents: doomed if you do, doomed if you don’t. So any position that encourages parents to make decisions confidently–TV or not–is good. In the end, this confidence will benefit the whole family.

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