Baby Einsteins

From The Washington Post:

HOTHOUSE KIDS: The Dilemma of the Gifted Child By Alissa Quart

We blast our developing fetuses with Mozart to give them a leg up in life. We park our 6-month-olds in front of “Baby Einstein” and “Brainy Baby” videos, whose bells and whistles are supposed to kick developing neurons into overdrive. We drag our toddlers to early-childhood “enrichment” classes and subject them to IQ tests as preschoolers to ensure that they get the best “gifted” education, if we’re lucky enough to live in a place that offers it or rich enough to pay for private schools and tutors.

Not only does this deprive kids of the proper fun of childhood, Quart argues, it can kill the drive to master something for its own sake. Too much early pressure can jeopardize kids’ ability to become successful, self-motivated adults. She offers up a number of cautionary tales, such as the one about the pianist whose father drove him so hard that he gave up the instrument by the time he was 7 years old. And then there’s the sad case of Brandenn Bremmer, a “profoundly gifted” 14-year-old who killed himself in March 2005. He apparently left no note to explain the act, but “the earth is not a happy place for PGs,” as a mother of gifted children put it.

More here.