By Stephanie G. Johnson
My toddler loves watching Cocomelon.
Have you ever heard of Cocomelon? It’s on Netflix and is constantly in the top 10 shows to watch. The kids love it; the parents hate it, but we have no choice but to play it, other than to risk a complete meltdown.
My child knows every character’s name and watches the show with his doll, the main character, JJ. If you don’t know what the show is about, it is JJ and his friends and family singing different songs for around three minutes. That’s it. They sing the entire time.
Now you see why I want to put on headphones when I turn the TV on? They sing about all different things. He does learn some very valuable lessons watching this show, but I do notice that if he watches a little too long, he seems to get a little crazy.
I was Googling Cocomelon one day and found out that they change the camera angle every three seconds to keep the kids’ attention. It was hard to believe, so the next time I turned on the show, I looked for it. I couldn’t believe it. As I counted to three, the angle changed every time.
Apparently, this can lead to kid’s wanting more, like an addiction, and they could become easily overstimulated, which is why they might act up after watching it.
It all makes sense now.
I decided to change it up a little, to another show, one that my friend’s rave about - Blippi.
I am sure you have probably heard of Blippi if you have toddlers. He is also a sensation. He is a real person, unlike JJ from Cocomelon, but don’t tell my kid that.
It felt like a good start. As I turned it on, my child was actually watching it and laughing. He started interacting and talking to me about it. When he watches Cocomelon, he just sits there, mesmerized.
As I was already impressed, I knew Blippi was a new star in our house. I was more than excited to turn it on for him, anything but Cocomelon.
Blippi goes to different places, such as museums or the beach, and he teaches real-life skills and plays. It’s actually a great show, and this mom highly approves of it. Sometimes, I even learn new things from it.
Then, after months of watching Blippi and Cocomelon, I thought it was time to add a new show to the mix, maybe a couple of new shows. First, we would try Mickey Mouse and next Spiderman.
They were both hits. He already loved Mickey Mouse, so I wish I had tried it sooner. Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is a bigger hit than Mickey Mouse Fun House, the newer version of the show. Yes, it’s confusing - one is a clubhouse, and the other is a funhouse that talks, which freaks my kid out.
I decided to give Spidey and Friends a chance, and now he loves superheroes, which is pretty adorable. His favorite character from the show is actually Hulk. He finds him hilarious. Instead of “Hulk Smash”, it is called “Thunderclap,” which my kid now does to open doors.
So, now we have these different shows on rotation, and his imagination is soaring, and he is learning new things from them. We always come home and have quiet time and sit on the couch and watch a little TV every day, just to relax.
What’s important is to limit the length of time he watches these shows and fill the rest of the time with reading, counting, playing games and going in the backyard or to the park.
But watching these shows can help him to learn also, even if the camera shot changes every three seconds.
I let him pick whichever show he wants. When I hear “Momma, I want Cocomelon,” I sit quietly on the couch and try to picture myself on a relaxing beach where Cocomelon doesn’t exist.
It works, for a while.
(You can reach Stephanie at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or by writing to: The Bulletin, P.O. Box 2426, Angleton, TX. 77516)