What’s the latest shocking trend in parenting? Moms are over-caffeinating their kids so they’ll stay perky and energetic all day, or medicating them so they’ll fall asleep easily at night.
Let’s start with the energy-boosting: On the toddlers and tiaras circuit, “pageant moms” regularly feed their kids pure sugar. Mostly Pixy Stix – which are referred to as “pageant crack.” But one mom decided sugar wasn’t enough, and began giving her 6-year-old what she calls “Go-Go Juice” - a combo of Mountain Dew and Red Bull, which is the caffeine equivalent of two cups of coffee. She insists it’s necessary - because her kid needs the energy to shine on stage all day. But according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, giving young children too much sugar and caffeine can lead to addiction, nerve problems, and heart problems.
In fact, experts say that’s just as bad as the next parenting issue: Giving kids allergy meds to make them drowsy at bedtime.
A recent survey mothers found that 1 in 5 moms admit to giving their kids meds like Benadryl or Dramamine to get through a long car ride, or plane trip. Even more disturbing, 1 in 12 moms regularly dose their kids with drowsy-making meds, just to get some peace and quiet on a normal night.
But experts warn that you should never give kids medicine unnecessarily, because there’s a huge risk for overdose, and adverse reactions. Not only that, medicating your kids to sleep keeps them from learning how to calm down and put themselves to sleep, which can lead to lifelong sleepless nights and addiction.
So, what do you think? Do you give your kids anything to perk them up, or calm them down? Share your thoughts at Facebook.com/JohnTesh.