baby einstein and trusting your gut

i was shocked yesterday to read the news about the baby einstein videos. supposedly all of the colors, and shapes, and songs aren’t as great for our babies as we originally thought!  the wildly popular videos (according to a 2003 study by the ny times, a third of all babies ages 6 months to 2 years had at least one baby einstein video) are simply a “rich and interactive learning experience.”

of course, it got even uglier when disney offered this explanation insisting they never claimed the videos were educational. huh? we always knew the videos weren’t rocket science for our babies, but it does seem like disney led us to believe that the videos were more than just simple babysitters. the authors of the book nurtureshock said, “over this decade, disney has completely dialed back the claims about baby einstein. it could afford to, because it still benefits from the suggestive power of the brand – from the false claims made long ago.”

i don’t know why i was so shocked over the news about baby einstein. i’ve always thought it was a little strange that we plopped our babies in front of the tv for their learning experiences. but i do generally trust disney and i figured they had some insider knowledge about early childhood development.

the news reminds me again that we know our kids best. whether as parents, or children’s ministry leaders, or members of our faith community doing our best to encourage faith in the children we see each week – we know them best. we know their lives, and their families, and their contexts, and it’s up to us to be constantly judging, and filtering, and creating content and experiences that are just right for them. trust your gut. whether a pre-packaged christian curriculum or videos from disney, believe in yourself today to make the best decisions for the kids you know and love.

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