Early Learning Myths (Fisher Price Commercial)

http://www.youtube.com/embed/CrkbRi77ExU

Am I one of “those” moms?

Fisher Price recently ran an ad campaign called “Do You Know This Mom?“. On one hand, I get that it is meant to be “funny”, and there is a lot of exaggeration going on. But on the other hand, the message they are promoting is damaging and destructive.

Here’s why:

What Early Learning is NOT: Fisher Price's "Do You Know This Mom?" Commercial

1. Early learning parents are not delusional, clueless folks who think that a baby randomly saying “da” means that they’re speaking German or that a toddler carelessly banging on a toy xylophone represents some famed musical talent.

2. Babies are not disinterested, dumb, distracted creatures who run away from all things related to learning and shun flash cards like the plague.

I used flash cards with my own babies and dozens babies and toddlers whom I have babysat for. Every single child in my experience has loved them and begs for more. My youngest, at one year old, would literally chase me down asking me to show him flash cards in reading words, math, and encyclopedic knowledge. I still to this day have to hide the flash cards if I want to get anything done!

3. Even if you had a schedule for learning activities, nothing takes 20 minutes. I mean, really, how long does it take to sing the alphabet song, 20 seconds? Or even if you showed your baby the entire alphabet with flash cards, how long would that take, a minute?

Early learning parents don’t strap their baby down and force them through lengthy lessons.

4. Early learning parents aren’t all competitive crazies who are from infancy counting down the days till kindergarten or dreaming about their baby’s future greatness as a marine biologist or neurosurgeon.

Most early learning parents feel that their children are indeed incredibly smart (all babies are) but choose to teach their children because it is enjoyable, worthwhile, and meaningful, not because they are in some kind of race to squash the competition and one-up their peers.

 

Do you struggle with the media’s or your peers’ portrayal of babies as dumb and early learning parents as pushy and delusional?

Just as there is currently a push for the media to do away with the dumb, incompetent, clueless dad stereotype, I think the same needs to be done for the harmful stereotype of early learning children and parents.