Like NurtureShock, this book says plainly what Early Childhood Educators have been trying to say for years. Young children learn by playing with simple, open-ended toys that encourage imagination and problem-solving. They learn language by listening to people talk and by being read to. They learn by being exposed to real life experiences with real life materials. They don't need magic videos, computer programs, "science-y" sounding products that promise to make your child a genius based on research that is either made up, misinterpreted or inconclusive. They don't need Disney characters in order to be engaged with the world. In other words, they don't need half the crap we parents are being sold on every day.
I guess I never realized just how different the marketing to parents is from my experience as an ECE. At daycare we had blocks and dress up clothes and books and clay. But I'd always have some parents asking why we weren't doing flash cards and work sheets with the two-year-olds or why our story time didn't look more like an elementary school classroom.
Now that I'm a parent myself, I get it. Sometimes it feels like the whole world is conspiring to make me feel guilty that my child isn't a member of the Disney Club or that she'll never be a "baby genius" because I didn't buy the right videos. I've had neighbours stop me at the store to tell me about computer programs that will teach my baby to read. I know that most of these "wonder products" are complete crap. But I also know that the marketing of this crap to parents is fierce.
What do you think? Are you drowning in "must have" products for your baby?