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WEEKLY WHINE

Is your children learning?

Not if they’re watching those supposed “smart baby” videos. That’s the conclusion of a study in the Journal of Pediatrics, in which researchers find that kids of eight to sixteen months had an average vocabulary size six words fewer for each hour per day spent watching all those baby DVDs. Older than sixteen months, no effect was observed.

What does that mean for youngsters eight to sixteen months old? Besides more GoobNet?

Well, it means that parents of youngsters eight to sixteen months old are going to require more guidance on how their kids learn. Luckily for you, parents of youngsters eight to sixteen months old, our own expert on everything, “Dynamite Eating” Edvard van de Kamp, is here to help you get your shit together.

As for getting your kid’s shit together, Edvard would like you to know that there’s no way in hell he’s helping there.

Dear Edvard: I am a parent of a ten month old girl. She currently knows 808 words, including “Sasquatch”, “Ulaanbataar”, and “forechecking”. But she doesn’t know any prepositions. Is this harming her development?

– Julie Sharperimage
Nottingham, MA, USA

Dear Julie: No, it is not harming her development. Children should begin learning prepositions at the age of two, and even then, they should be introduced gradually. So, for the next fourteen months, do not, under any circumstances, utter a preposition to your girl. Don’t even say, “Let’s go to the zoo”.

Dear Edvard: I’m a babysitter, and I need to know whether it’s safe to show those developmental DVDs to the kids I babysit. If one of those kids grows up to become a glue eater or worse, a pop singer, I may have to lower my rates.

– Brandy Ireland
West Palm Springs, FL, USA

Dear Brandy: It’s safe, sure. Just sit down with the kids and talk to them whilst the video is playing.

Dear Edvard: My kid is smarter than your kid. Oh, that’s right! You don’t have any children! You’re not contributing to the future of mankind!

– Karl Freiderbaum
Philadelphia, PA, USA

Dear Karl: I’d hate to see what you’re like at your kid’s baseball games.

Dear Edvard: As a fifteen month old toddler, I can confirm that those “Baby Einstein” DVDs don’t help me learn, and they’re damn annoying too. Hopefully my vocabulary will soon be large enough for me to tell my mother that I prefer hip-hop, not classical.

– Shaun DeForrest Daniels
Washington, DC, USA

Dear Shaun: Well, 50 Cent will definitely help you learn some new words.

Dear Edvard: House house house house house!

– Bradley James West
Reading, England, UK

Dear Bradley: Move away from the television set!

Dear Edvard: Your advice to Julie was misinformed and irresponsible. Children of any age can learn prepositions; in fact withholding prepositions from children has been shown to harm their ability to use prepositions later in life.

– Dr Clint Metzbaum
Asheboro, NC, USA

Dear Dr Clint: Don’t tell me what say children. I came a good home.

Dear Edvard: I have four children, currently between the ages of fourteen and nineteen. The eldest is in college, the second is about to start, and the other two are getting As and Bs in school. They were all raised without those smart baby DVDs.

– Patricia Jefferson
San Pedro, CA, USA

Dear Patricia: Of course they were. DVDs were introduced after your youngest child turned two.

Dear Edvard: Why don’t parents just turn off the television and computer and actually sit down with their kids and help them learn?

– Godella Victor
Vancouver, BC, Canada

Dear Godella: Because they’re dumb.

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