TALK BACK: educational tv or video babysitter?

A few months ago, the Baby Einsteins company offered an unprecendeted voluntary refund for anyone who purchased their DVD's in the last four years. The reason? In August of 2007, the Journal of Pediatrics released a study done on the effects of TV viewing on the development of language in children under age two. The study showed, not only did DVDs like Baby Einstein not make kids smarter, they were actually associated with lower scores on language development tests. Thus, Disney's voluntary refund for money spent on Baby Einstein products. The Baby Einsteins founder stands by their product, and says that the company never claimed that the DVD's were marketed to improve IQ scores. However, hordes of parents are sending back DVD's in order to get a few bucks back.

What do you make of this? Do you think the Baby Einsteins company owes people money? Or do you think parents should just chalk it up to using a video babysitter during the times their children watches the videos?

Do you ever think television can be beneficial to small children?


  1. I don't think Baby Einstein should be on the hook and refunding money. I don't think any other producing companies are going to refund money for the cartoons our kids watch. It's kind of sad how people are so quick to blame others for the results of their own choices. No one wants to be responsible or realistic.

  2. My daughter never watched Baby Einstein videos but has watched sign language videos for a while and I do think that she benefited from them and learned quite a bit. Which made communicating a lot easier for her. I will admit that as much as she was learning, the videos also helped me get a break in for myself.

    I don't think Baby Einstein is to blame because ultimately it was the parents choice to buy the videos with the hope of making their child the smartest kid on the block.

  3. I'm very anti-TV for young children. I'm usually open to seeing the benefit for most things, but this is truly just a tool used when parents are at their wits end. I've been there. But I have a rule and haven't broken it - no TV before two. There are plenty of other things to do. Even now my 4 year old only gets one show a day max. It is definitely one of the few things I'm rigid about. However, I don't think people who utilize it are bad parents nor do I think the producers of baby movies should be held responsible. That would be like McD's giving refunds for all their happy meals...kind of silly, right?

  4. In the very few instances that I need a TV baby sitter (daughter is being super clingy and I need to feed son, or daughter is being super clingy and I need to open the hot oven, or daughter is being super clingy.. you get the idea) using a Baby Einstein video is a MUCH better option for me than plopping her in front of Dora or Sponge Bob or the like. She has no idea who those characters are and I'd like to keep her away from princesses and character products and into more neutral things like the Baby Einstein. That way she doesn't get addicted and demand it and I can use it on an as needed basis.


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