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Old 10-27-2009, 09:35 AM
 
1,122 posts, read 2,306,656 times
Reputation: 749

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Quote:
The New York Times reported Thursday that Disney is offering a refund to buyers of its ubiquitous “Baby Einstein” videos, which did not, as promised, turn babies into wunderkinds. Apparently, all those puppets, bright colors, and songs were what we had feared all along—a mind-numbing way to occupy infants.
Ok, own up....who's got them?

DD use to pick these off the shelf at the store, fighting an internal battle between these and Spongebob. I have to admit I helped persuade her...not to increase her IQ but to keep her away from that cuboid and that laugh...not that it worked in the long run. But she use to put the VHS in on her own and turn her back on it. She mostly liked the music and a white lamb. She listened but did not usually watch. She'd play and sing the songs in other languages. In fact, most of the babbling she did on her own without the movies, was her using these words from other languages. I finally caught on one day when she was saying something in Spanish. She would even make new sentences by using the words she heard.

I DO NOT think that Baby Einstein movies make kids smarter. Obviously as Disney, who lent their equipment to some over zealous mother, is agreeing. BUT I think that kids are born gifted and kids who are more likely to enjoy having classical music playing in the background or are more likely to gain something from being exposed to other languages. When we figured out what was really going on, we got classical CDs. I mean we went from DD who had to have her movies to the last child who had to have his cds.

She got her first somewhere around a year and a half and enjoyed them until around age 4.

As far as the over stimulation, I AGREE 100%! DH and I had different opinions about that all away up to about a week ago. He gets up somewhere around 6am everyday so he'd hang with the kids and keep them entertained with TV until I got up between 8 and 9. Then I'd be stuck with them all day trying to school them. Finally, one day he was commenting on how great their behavior was and I had to again point out that, "Yeah...when I get up in the morning with them, I don't let them watch TV. They eat breakfast, start school, and are more focused on getting their work done more quickly with less of me having to constantly be on them about it. Now as you can see, they are better entertaining themselves and have played like this all day." FINALLY he admits it! BUT what drives me CRAZY is that he'll come in for lunch early and eat watching something on science, history, discovery, ect channels WHILE I'm trying to get the kids to focus and when I tell them to quit watching the TV claims they can't see it. He finishes by heading back out to work and leaving it on! AHHGGG!
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Old 10-27-2009, 10:48 AM
 
536 posts, read 1,865,575 times
Reputation: 329
We had one and never bought another. Couldn't hold our son's attention for longer than 30 seconds. Plus there are endless advertisements at the beginning that were kind of annoying. Of course most kids videos are nothing but one big advertisement anyways.
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Old 10-27-2009, 11:41 AM
 
1,492 posts, read 7,693,801 times
Reputation: 1452
Never used these- don't think they were around when I had small children, but-

is there any evidence at all to show the products of this merchandise (the kids themselves) skip grades/make straight As/go to college early?

My children are a product of a single mom, military, Christian and they all excelled in school. 1 starting college at 16, the other at 15 and my 14 year old has skipped a grade already and we are looking at 'early college' starting next year-11th grade.

But I do have great nieces and hope to have grandchildren one day- so I may be a potential purchaser of these dvds.
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Old 10-27-2009, 12:05 PM
 
Location: Orlando, FL
12,200 posts, read 18,312,198 times
Reputation: 6655
I got a DVD in the mail...you know when they send you free sample things? I used to put my son in his chair and plop him in front of the tv - he'd listen to the music but didn't really watch the screen so I just brought him a classical CD and called it a day
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Old 10-27-2009, 12:39 PM
 
Location: Sandpoint, Idaho
3,007 posts, read 6,257,121 times
Reputation: 3310
Quote:
Originally Posted by flik_becky View Post
Ok, own up....who's got them?

DD use to pick these off the shelf at the store, fighting an internal battle between these and Spongebob. I have to admit I helped persuade her...not to increase her IQ but to keep her away from that cuboid and that laugh...not that it worked in the long run. But she use to put the VHS in on her own and turn her back on it. She mostly liked the music and a white lamb. She listened but did not usually watch. She'd play and sing the songs in other languages. In fact, most of the babbling she did on her own without the movies, was her using these words from other languages. I finally caught on one day when she was saying something in Spanish. She would even make new sentences by using the words she heard.

I DO NOT think that Baby Einstein movies make kids smarter. Obviously as Disney, who lent their equipment to some over zealous mother, is agreeing. BUT I think that kids are born gifted and kids who are more likely to enjoy having classical music playing in the background or are more likely to gain something from being exposed to other languages. When we figured out what was really going on, we got classical CDs. I mean we went from DD who had to have her movies to the last child who had to have his cds.

She got her first somewhere around a year and a half and enjoyed them until around age 4.

As far as the over stimulation, I AGREE 100%! DH and I had different opinions about that all away up to about a week ago. He gets up somewhere around 6am everyday so he'd hang with the kids and keep them entertained with TV until I got up between 8 and 9. Then I'd be stuck with them all day trying to school them. Finally, one day he was commenting on how great their behavior was and I had to again point out that, "Yeah...when I get up in the morning with them, I don't let them watch TV. They eat breakfast, start school, and are more focused on getting their work done more quickly with less of me having to constantly be on them about it. Now as you can see, they are better entertaining themselves and have played like this all day." FINALLY he admits it! BUT what drives me CRAZY is that he'll come in for lunch early and eat watching something on science, history, discovery, ect channels WHILE I'm trying to get the kids to focus and when I tell them to quit watching the TV claims they can't see it. He finishes by heading back out to work and leaving it on! AHHGGG!
I don't think the Baby Einstein folks should give back a single penny unless they made scientific claims, which they did not. Look, people want to believe in short cuts. Increasingly, we are a short-cut obsessed culture. We hate people who have succeed due to hard work. Far easier to align behind "a guy like us" than someone who made a concerted effort to separate themselves form ignorance, poverty, cowardice, laziness, etc.

The founder of this company, Julie Aigner-Clark, a humanities graduate of Michigan State and former high teacher, had no knowledge whatsoever on child development, in terms of biology or psychology. But she and her husband knew very well this American love of short-cuts and celebrity worship.

The rest is history.They made a tape and then CD of colors shapes and simple sounds and make millions. Absolutely brilliant.

Of course, no one deserves their money back. If anything, every single Baby Einstein VHS, CD, and DVD should be framed and placed in a prominent position in the house. There it should sit to remind us not worship false gods or to seek short-cuts to parenting or learning or hard work.

America loves its simpletons: its simple athletes, its simple politicians, its simple demagogues, and its simple pundits. At the same time, it has developed contempt for those with genuine ideas and contributions to make but who have busted their balls 24/7. This is not the America of our forefathers, but the America that we, the past two generations, have created with great shame. Even those in the past with little schooling were often very well educated to the principle of hard work, earnest living, and respect for the learned. Now, even the highly schooled and credentialed push forward agenda after agenda that shines a bright torch on the short-cut. We are in effect, the infomercial nation, the consumers of ever newer forms of snake oil. The Baby Einstein product line was simply the latest lottery ticket to deliver us from our misery.

Those who seek refunds should be doubly ashamed: once for seeking the short-cut and once for not taking responsibility for it.

Instead of these gimmicks, work with your kids, commit to developing their intellect and powers of reasoning, work with them to develop their expository and creative writing. Encourage them to integrate technology into their love for playful creation and innovation. Set high standards so they can continue to strive forward. Prepare them for the inevitable departure from the nest and do so knowing you have instilled an ethos in them that should last a lifetime. Doing so offers the best chance for America to rise from the ashes of its own self-destruction and build this country anew.

Wake up America!

S.
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Old 10-27-2009, 12:55 PM
 
Location: Chicagoland
5,749 posts, read 10,330,756 times
Reputation: 7010
Out of curiousity, I once checked out a Baby Einstein video from the library but the kids weren't interested in watching it (though they liked the music).... Thankfully, they've never really been TV watchers but I do know a child who can sit and watch it for quite a while.

My kids are older now but I remember buying lots of those interactive, classical music toys they could use to create music (e.g. musical instrument/note cubes perhaps made by the Einstein Company?)... They loved these and played with them for hours.... Interestingly, my kids now have very good ears for musical pitch. Our music teacher (who is a PhD with probably 40 years experience) has said they all have "relative pitch" with my 6 y.o. also having "perfect pitch" (e.g. from another room she can identify notes on the piano/guitar (incl. flats/sharps) by sound. According to the teacher, this is very rare.

I've done a little research on "perfect pitch" and some believe that many children are born with this ability but they lose it unless it is nurtured at an early age. It makes me wonder if some of the musical toys I gave them helped facilitate this. Or maybe there is a genetic connection? They also have a grandparent who was a professional musician/teacher who supposedly also had perfect pitch.... Who knows...

I also read somewhere that perfect pitch can be facilitated by associating a musical note to a specific color (e.g. F sharp is dark green). Perhaps the Baby Einstein products attempt to do this in some way? I'm not sure if improving musical ability is the goal of the Einstein videos though... I can't remember.

p.s. I looked at the Einstein site and I can't find those "Musical Symphony Cubes" to which I was referring. I guess they were made by another company.... It's a great product if you can find it....

Last edited by GoCUBS1; 10-27-2009 at 01:21 PM..
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Old 10-27-2009, 02:22 PM
 
10,629 posts, read 26,627,064 times
Reputation: 6776
Even if they did make scientific claims (which even if they didn't officially, they certainly attempted to send that message) people still shouldn't get their money back; one should treat any studies or research conducted by the company selling the product with a great deal of skepticism until the findings are verified by outside researchers. Baby Einstein videos are a form of babysitting, pure and simple; there might not be anything wrong with that, within reason (and for kids of a certain age), and I bet most people who bought the videos got their money's worth out of it in that way. If they really believed that their kid would be smarter as a result, well, that should be their problem.
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Old 10-27-2009, 04:14 PM
 
Location: Eastern time zone
4,469 posts, read 7,169,165 times
Reputation: 3499
Any idiot who believes a video will make little Arabella a genius deserves to be taken in by advertising. Here's a thought: turn off the TV and read to her, or go on a nature walk, or play pretend.

Oh, wait! That means actual parenting, not child-as-fashion-accessory.
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Old 10-27-2009, 06:59 PM
 
2,839 posts, read 9,955,035 times
Reputation: 2944
My kids watched Baby Einstein when they were babies/toddlers, but just as a "babysitter" of sorts, not because I was under the delusion that they would really be baby geniuses. Now Spongebob does my babysitting for me. I have not noticed any decline in behavior with limited viewing, but I definitely notice it when they've had the boob tube on too long. As with anything else, TV is fine in moderation.
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Old 10-27-2009, 07:21 PM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
8,998 posts, read 14,736,791 times
Reputation: 3545
I don't have kids, don't want kids.

I don't know anyone who bought them or believed they should have bought them.

My step-mom and dad bought my little sis lots of books, take her to the library a lot, and read to her. She's now reading above her grade level and made the highest score on a placement exam at her school. She's doing pretty well for a first grader. No baby Einstein DVDs were necessary.
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