I'm going to get this book from the library when I'm back from vacation, but Amazon's search function is giving me enough excerpts to
This woman appears to part of a circle of extraordinarily extravagant and competitive parents and has decided that everything they do comes from the same mindset as buying $500 crib sheets and $2300 strollers. And while being oh-so-smug about that, the author makes it clear that she is firmly part of that sub-culture.
For instance, in the introduction alone, she discusses baby sign, not as a way to help babies get their needs met, but as a way to create advanced speech skills for entry into competitive private preschools.
They decide against baby sign in the end, not because of scheduling concerns or worry about teaching their babysitter the signs, but because some studies show that babies who sign end up behind in verbal development.
Later on (pg 158) a study is quoted that shows no difference in language abilities by age 2 between infants who were taught signing and those who had verbal instruction. So why, when the page before addresses using sign to reduce frustrations, doesn't the author address the fact that the same study did show advances in language in younger children?
Apparently, these same competitive parents like to plop their babies in bouncy chairs to watch "educational" videos for hours on end. Not entirely sure what, if anything, that has to tell us about the effect of television on a toddler who grabs the parent's chin to turn their head towards the screen when the parent isn't paying quite enough attention to the show.
These "educational" videos also appear, from limited reading, to consist of vocabulary instruction without context. They have several pictures of the same item while a voice over states the word. And, quelle suprise, that doesn't teach words as well as real life interactions.
What doesn't seem to have been examined is how video introductions affect real life interactions. Other sources have said that feedback to the child's own attempts at language is the most important indicator of language development. Are children who watch a video talking about airplanes (e.g.) more likely to comment on airplanes when they see them for the first time in real life? Are their parents more likely to understand that they're saying "airplane" (a-pain!) just like they commented when two watched the airplane video earlier? And thus are they more likely to get an immediate feedback of "yes, that's an airplane, it's flying in the sky"?
It's annoying to me, that while I can directly and immediately see my dd learning things from videos that she can and does apply to real life, there are sooo many people saying it can't happen because of studies done on ways of using television that have nothing in common with how it's watched at our house.