Walt Disney says Baby Einstein does not make Babies Einstein

The New York Times  reports that the Walt Disney Company is refunding all Baby Einstein products to avoid a class action law suit by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, which has studies showing that Baby Einsteins are neither educational nor intellect-growing videos.

Refund Offered For Popular Baby Einstein Videos For Children

In fact, Federal Guidelines recommend no television for children under the age of two because it can shorten attention span and may impede language development.

In the opening scenes of what could be called a charming movie, Ratatouillethe grandmother tries to gun down rats in her supper. My then three year old daughter walked away from the video her old cousins were enjoying, saying "Mom, it's too mean and scary!" That's a pretty sophisticated response for a three year old, but it gives me a big clue as to her sensitivities.
For sensitive children or those whose behavior has landed them a suggestion or diagnosis of ADD, ADHD or mild autism -  whose gifts are often intuitively based - all things audio/video should be monitored. I passed a video store exclusively for kids the other day and could find no - and I mean no - products that were not based in violence at some level. Studies on violence-based videos show that long term exposure to them is an important risk element for later violent and aggressive behavior - and that's for kids who aren't hypersensitive.
If you decide to let your children over two watch television, check out WTTW's children's programming or ironically Walt Disney's, Little Einstein's, to find violence-free selections. They may not make your child an Einstein, but they won't be a risk factor for potentially aggressive future behavior!
What are your favorites in conscious children's entertainment?

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