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Wait, Baby Einstein Won't Make My Kid a Genius?

Babyeinstein Over the weekend, the The Faculty Lounge blog highlighted a story in the New York Times about the "Baby Einstein" videos that are known to just about every parent these days. In short, it turns out that the videos will not make your child into an Einstein or a genius, and the Walt Disney Company is now caving to demands that it offer refunds to all purchasers.

The push against the videos has been led for years by a group called the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, which now triumphantly states that it sees the refund "as an acknowledgment by the leading baby video company that baby videos are not educational, and we hope other baby media companies will follow suit by offering refunds.”

A 2003 study showed that a third of all American babies from 6 months to 2 years old had at least one “Baby Einstein” video. The Times reports that Disney had already dropped the word “educational” from their marketing of the videos under pressure from the CCFC, but went further to issue the refunds after being threatened with a class action lawsuit for "unfair and deceptive practices." The refund extends to all those who have bought the videos since 2004, and will provide $15.99 for up to four “Baby Einstein” DVDs per household.

As The Faculty Lounge asks, however,

Did anyone REALLY think they were "educational"? Sure some of them have numbers in them, and some have words and pictures. But how many parents really thought they were more than a useful babysitting device? And they are really quite good at that...

As the father of four young boys who have watched their share of "Baby Einstein," I certainly never thought there was any magic in the videos that was going to make my kids into geniuses. But for those of you who did, go get your $15.99.

Posted by Bruce Carton on October 26, 2009 at 01:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)


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