If you're a buyer of those "baby genius" videos for your infant and are horribly disappointed that baby still can't breeze through The Grapes of Wrath, you might find some satisfaction in the fact that one of these "baby genius" companies, Your Baby Can Read!, has shut down due to the cost of fighting false advertising claims.
The company had been in the crosshairs of a watchdog group and the FTC for making misleading claims about the genius potential of your little tykes. Your Baby Can Read! sold videos for babies as young as 3 months old that purported to teach baby how to read. In reality, there's no proof that a baby, who at this stage can barely tell her toes from her tongue, can read.
The group who called for the company to be investigated, Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, says, "By making grandiose promises, Your Baby Can Read! exploited parents’ natural tendency to want what’s best for their children."
Um, yeah, and exploited parents' natural tendency to see their kid as the smartest kid who ever lived. Once, a friend of mine excitedly reported that her toddler had miraculously deciphered how to drink out of the toilet. She seemed to think this was proof that the tyke would grow up to be Stephen Hawking. I had to remind her that my cat knew how to drink out of the toilet too.
CCFC has already taken on Baby Einstein, BrainyBaby, and BabyFirstTV.
Plus, a bunch of studies have linked too much childhood screen time to issues like depression, obesity, insomnia, and slower language development.
Here's the deal, everyone: If your baby or toddler isn't reading, doing arithmetic, or explaining the origins of the universe yet, despite hours and hours of baby genius videos, it's not because your kid is dumb. But you might be. Any time you're tempted to buy your kid a baby genius video, put the money in a college savings account instead.
Do you buy your kid baby genius videos?
Image via YourBabyCanRead