Wednesday, August 08, 2007

TV Parenting

It may come as a shock to some people but the truth is that TV cannot raise up children to be smart. As silly as this news may sound apparently it was worth mentioning on The Today Show and in Time Magazine. A recent research group at The University of Washington has taken the time to "prove" that the Baby Einstein videos do not make kids smarter. Listen to how Time words this finding, however:

The claim always seemed too good to be true: park your infant in front of a video and, in no time, he or she will be talking and getting smarter than the neighbor's kid. In the latest study on the effects of popular videos such as the "Baby Einstein" and "Brainy Baby" series, researchers find that these products may be doing more harm than good. And they may actually delay language development in toddlers.

I am surprised by this research, however. I am amazed that the way this is being billed is as if the failure is on the part of the creators of the DVDs and not on the part of parents who drop their kids in front a TV to substitute their role as teachers. The creators of the Baby Einstein DVDs have come out saying that these videos were created to help parents teach their kids and to provide opportunities for parents to view them with their kids and teach them by means of it. This research is silly to me...almost as silly as the discovery that sex among college students is mostly based on attraction.

Parenting is not the responsibility of DVDs and televisions, and they were not created to supplant the role of parents. If research needed to be done to prove that parents need to do their job then perhaps we are in a worse off place than I realized in this country. I wonder if a video on "Parent Einsteins" would be any more effective?

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