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Is Cocomelon Overstimulating?

By: The Kangaroo Forest | Published 01/12/2022

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Cocomelon is a cartoon favorite for many toddlers and their parents. However, since its rise in popularity, there has been discussion about its effects. Is Cocomelon overstimulating? The Kangaroo Forest has broken down the potential effects of this fan favorite:

What is Cocomelon?

Cocomelon — formerly known as ABC Kid TV — got its start on YouTube, where it regularly streamed hours of educational, engaging nursery rhymes for kids. Some of these songs include classics like “The Wheels on the Bus” and “If You’re Happy and You Know It”, as well as a few Cocomelon originals.

Cocomelon features diverse cartoon characters that perform these songs, while subtitles and colorful imagery bounce across the screen. 

How is Cocomelon “Overstimulating”?

Child development expert, Jerrica Sannes, recently came out with several disadvantages to watching Cocomelon. In an Instagram story, Sannes wrote, 

“Cocomelon is so hyperstimulating that it actually acts as a drug, as a stimulant. The brain gets a hit of dopamine from screen-time and it seems that the stronger the ‘drug’ aka the level of stimulation a show delivers, the stronger the ‘hit.’

This leads to 1) the children experiencing symptoms of addiction and withdrawal, obviously leaving them completely dysregulated, and 2) a general discomfort in the speed of everyday life. The more they watch the show, the more the brain begins to expect this kind of stimulation. This makes it impossible for them to play creatively and without entertainment.”

Children have much shorter attention spans than adults do. Therefore, children’s shows are designed with this in mind, offering simple plot lines and short scenes. However, many believe Cocomelon takes this practice to an extreme. With quick scenes (lasting no more than 2 seconds), fast camera movements, dancing subtitles, and several sound effects playing at once (music, talking, laughing), Cocomelon could be overstimulating for some children.

Though research is limited on the effects of shows like Cocomelon, Sannes recommends observing your child’s behavior and making changes to their media consumption as you see fit. Sannes says, “??If your child turns into a zombie while watching a show, that isn’t ‘rest,’ that’s overstimulation.”

Overstimulation can lead to media addiction. The long-term effects of excessive screen-time include delayed language development, inability to self-regulate, and sleep problems.

How does your child respond to Cocomelon? We’d love to hear your thoughts! 

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