“Your Baby Can Read” is an Early Language Development System for babies ages 3 months to 5 months old and claims to teach babies to read using DVDs and word cards.
The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood has filed a complaint against the company with the Federal Trade Commission asking that all ads be halted. www.BusinessWeek.com
The Today show has been following along and posted a video update to their investigation: http://today.msnbc.msn.com
Watchdog groups have claimed that Your Baby Can Read’s claims are false and misleading. Harvard, NYU and Tufts University have all agreed that there is no evidence that the program works.
The possibility of teaching a “baby” to read in reality is probably as far-fetched as it sounds. But it brings up a larger point that producing “Super Babies” is becoming a huge industry.
Parents have been known to spend upwards of $100,000 to “design” babies with superior attributes before they are even born. And it doesn’t stop in the womb. Parents continue special programs, nutritional diets, and educational services well into high school to make sure that their kids have “an edge” going into college.
To each his own. I think it’s probably best to let kids be kids for as long as they can and allow them to play and enjoy childhood for as long as possible. But that’s just me. I’m sure if I had in excess of $100k to spend on programs that could possibly make my kids better in some area I wouldn’t squander it. But I also remember the kids I saw when I was growing up that were “pushed” too hard and how it altered their childhood and their outlook on life.
Probably more than anything, it’s important to understand that each child or person is unique in life and has strengths and weaknesses and interests that far outweigh the wishes and wants of the parents. Focus on the strengths and interests and let them flourish. Try to improve the weaknesses but don’t get completely hung up on the struggles. They will probably always be there in some fashion so minimizing them becomes more important than eradicating them. Sometimes the minor flaws add flavor to the personality.