Is 'CoComelon' Overstimulating Your Children? Let's Get an Expert Opinion.
The topic of screen time can be a sensitive issue for many parents. While some parents have stringent regulations regarding their children's use of screens, including time limits and other restrictions, others are more flexible. Most experts, however, prefer stricter guidelines, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, which advises against any screen time for children under 18 months, except video chat, and recommends no more than one hour of high-quality content for children over two years old.
But the question remains, does the pacing of screen time programming have any effect on children? For instance, shows like Mister Rogers' Neighborhood and Daniel Tiger are more deliberate in pace than screens like CoComelon. The latter's constant giggling and repetitive nursery rhyme-style tunes about manners and bathtime can be catchy but decidedly overbearing. Nonetheless, children adore it, and parents value the positive impact on their child's mood. Moreover, screen time affords parents some much-needed respite, whether it's cooking dinner or a break from parental duties.
The situation, however, has led some to speculate that children might be overly fixated on CoComelon content. A TikTok video posted by the user @circusbrain compared the pacing of CoComelon scenes to those of other popular shows, such as My Little Pony. According to the video, My Little Pony's scene changes occur every four to six seconds, while CoComelon's changes every one to three seconds. A follow-up video from @circusbrain also demonstrated how almost every shot in CoComelon moves, leading some to claim that it can be overstimulating for babies and cause speech delays and tantrums.
One parent, u/First_Regret9418, who came across the TikTok video, posted a request for more information on the Parenting subreddit, asking if anyone had more information about how CoComelon might be overstimulating. The post garnered over 300 comments, with responses consisting mainly of anecdotal evidence and personal accounts of how fast-paced programming can impact children.
One user said that they banned CoComelon from their home after the child had an epic tantrum upon shutting off the show to get ready for a bath. Others reported similar experiences, raising concerns that the show might be too addictive for children.
However, some respondents mentioned that they hadn't observed any changes in their children's behavior while watching CoComelon.
According to a study conducted by developmental psychologist Angeline Lillard, watching fast-paced programming for nine minutes could interfere with a child's executive function. But in another study, Lillard found that it was the fantastical content of shows that was the issue, not the pace. Moreover, the effects of both studies were short-term.
However, a pediatrician who goes by @pedsdoctalk on TikTok published a video stating that CoComelon is harmless in moderation. The facts remain uncertain though.
Rebecca G. Cowan, Ph.D., a professor at Walden University, says there is no evidence to suggest that CoComelon is overstimulating due to the pace of scenes. Cowan believes that parents should monitor their children's responses to such shows and respond accordingly.
If a child shows signs of being overstimulated, such as crying or crankiness, parents should remain calm and patient, move to a quiet environment, let their child express their feelings, and teach them coping strategies like five-finger breathing.
Ultimately, parents know their children best and are responsible for deciding what's suitable and what's not.
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