Why is CoComelon bad for kids? Start Here


The widely popular children-oriented show is currently a topic of debate due to its fast-paced and addictive content, which was accused of being a bit too addictive to suit children’s needs. As some experts chimed in, there was more to CoComelon than just rhymes being presented in vibrant and engaging animation.

Despite its educational motive, CoComelon came across as a deliberate ploy to hold children’s attention for long enough to amass millions of views on its channel. Though some may find the claims disputable and unbacked by credible evidence, concerns raised by parents over their children’s indulgence in the show is valid.

Key Takeaways

  • CoComelon’s over-stimulating content was called out for being too addictive and causing an unhealthy amount of viewing among children.
  • Its fast-paced videos have also been criticized for enforcing and causing a short attention span among young children which is detrimental to their cognitive development.
  • Parents have observed behavioral issues among children such as tantrums and meltdowns owing to their disproportionate viewing of CoComelon.

CoComelon has been questioned for its ‘hyper-stimulating’ and addictive content that works in the same vein as ‘drugs’ for children

CoComelon’s immense popularity makes it evident that young children, ranging from babies to toddlers, love watching the show. Judging by the billions of views on its YouTube channel and a top spot on Netflix’s most-watched shows, CoComelon’s grip on its audience is undeniable.

“Young children are drawn to the bright visuals – especially the focus on big eyes and faces – the repetitive music and sounds, and the constant movement and action on the screen,” explained Dr. Nicole Beurkens, a licensed psychologist and nutritionist, to Romper about why children were so drawn to the show.

However, not many agree with her stance on CoComelon’s “multi-sensory experience” being harmless or not overwhelming. Some concerned specialists, as well as parents, have taken it to social media to express the detrimental effects of such seemingly innocuous content on a child’s cognitive development.

In May 2021, Jerrica Sannes, a child development expert with a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Curriculum and Instruction and a Bachelor’s degree in Family and Child Development, took to Instagram to call out the channel’s overtly stimulating content aimed at young kids.

Sannes, who has professionally worked with children for over 15 years, wrote on her Instagram Story titled ‘CoComelon’ that the show is “so hyper-stimulating that it actually acts as a drug, a stimulant” to the brains of children. While some might think the claim is farfetched, Sannes elaborated;

“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” … The more they watch the show, the more their brain begins to expect this intense level of stimulation. This makes it impossible for them to play creatively and without entertainment.”

She went on to explain its potential “symptoms of addiction and withdrawal” on young children that could cause them difficulty in adjusting to the normal speed of everyday life.

CoComelon’s fast-paced videos are likely to cause children’s cognition to develop a short attention span

CoComelon’s addictive content that hooks on the focus of a child for hours could cause future cognitive implications such as short attention span and attention deficit in the long run.

Courtesy of CoComelon

To elaborate, CoComelon’s rather fast-paced videos with a lot of things happening in one scene could enforce the aforementioned issues. For context, user @thecircusbrain’s Tiktok video on the subject provides some insight.

In the video, he compares the number of seconds it takes for scene transitions to occur in CoComelon to another children’s show ‘My Little Pony’. He found out that while My Little Pony changed scenes every four to six seconds, CoComelon changed its scenes every one to two seconds, giving little time for the viewers to comprehend the scenes.

Likewise, Sannes mentioned that getting used to such hyper-stimulating videos would not only lead to poor self-regulation skills but also cause attention and behavioral disorders mimicking the symptoms of ADHD (attention deficit hyperactive disorder) and autism.

“If your child meltdowns endlessly once a show is turned off or until that show is turned, that’s an addiction. If your child turns into a zombie while watching a show, that isn’t “rest”, that’s overstimulation,” warned Sannes.

However, Dr. Rebecca Cowan, a professor at the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Walden University said to Parents that “without empirical research on the show CoComelon, there is no data to substantiate claims that this show is overstimulating due to the pace of the scenes.”

“Not every child will respond to shows such as CoComelon in the same way. Pay attention to how your child is responding, and if they appear overstimulated or distressed, intervene if you feel it is necessary,” Cowan reassured.

Anecdotal accounts of parents hold CoComelon’s addictive content liable for causing behavioral issues such as tantrums and meltdowns among children

Although extensive and credible research on the impact of CoComelon on children’s behavioral issues is currently lacking, there is no dearth of personal incidences documenting the tales of tantrums thrown by children when parents withheld the show from them.

For instance, on the r/Parenting forum on Reddit, a post discussing the allegations of CoComelon being overstimulating provided some anecdotes from parents dealing with the aftermath of their children’s dependence on the show.

“I find it overstimulating and it leads to less patience with my two-year-old doing toddler things and making noise, and me just feeling agitated in general,” wrote a user in the comments.

Furthermore, parents discussed similar behavior among children caused by other kid-oriented shows and cartoons such as Paw Patrol, Little Baby Bum, and Spongebob. Another user detailed;

“I had to [cut CoComelon from] my little guy too and I swear he had withdrawals like someone on crack. He would stare at the black screen and cry. He cried for probably 2 weeks straight before it got better. My pediatrician said he was delayed in speech and that’s when I cut out screen time. I knew that was it.”

However, other commenters stated that CoComelon is ‘tolerable’ for their children and not overtly stimulating as some report it to be. Also, there are counterarguments that the show’s design is deliberate to hold children’s short attention span and that there is nothing sinister at play, after all, it is a show for kids.

To support the above argument, Dr. Laura Froyen, a family therapist, told Romper;

“Babies and toddlers are naturally attracted to bright, flashy visuals mainly because their vision is still developing. They tend to prefer brighter colors with more contrast because they can see them better. They also are easily distracted, so fast-moving and flashy images hold their attention longer by consistently redirecting their focus.”