Caffeine at the age of two?

by KatrinaPallikaris on June 9, 2013 - 12:23am

Toddlers and Tiaras, a hit show on TLC, recently aired an episode featuring a two year old pageant star’s preparations for a big pageant.  During this episode, the two year old’s mother can be seen feeding the child caffeine in order to help her prepare.  She goes on to explain how this has been the child’s daily routine since the age of nine months.

Should this mother be taken away her rights to care for this child?

I believe that a social worker should definetly investigate into this situation.  This mother does not seem responsible enough to care for a young child.

That being said, one can also argue that this mother is feeding her child the same amounts of sugar as any other parent does, just in a different form.  Her child also seems to perform better with the caffeine.

Do you believe what this mother is doing to her child is right?


I am very interested in that topic. I always believed it was important to take care of ourselves and this starting with a healthy lifestyle; Sleeping well, being active and mostly eating well! Nutrition is a very important subject and especially for kids and adolescents. It's important to build a good immune system in order to be able to face illness. Also, I spend a lot of time with kids since I love babysitting, and because I care about children, I make sure they eat good food so they do grow up stronger.

I am completely against what the mother is doing and I just think it is unethical. Every kid should have a chance to grow up eating the required vitamins and calcium such as milk and they should not be allowed to take caffeine. I don't understand how a mother cannot care about the health of her child enough to feed it properly.

Even though I strongly believe what the mother is doing is wrong, I do not think she should lose her right to care for this child. However, I think an advisor or nutritionist should intervene in the situation because clearly the mother is not thinking right at all!

I laughed to the argument that any other parent can be feeding their kids with the same amount of sugar, so giving caffeine to a two-year old child is OK. I just think it is ridiculous. First, a parent would not give as much sugar to a two-year old child unless this sugar is in a natural form, fruits for example. And, now, let's say a parent would give sugar to a two-year old child, the effect of caffeine would still be more dangerous for the life of the child. By taking as much caffeine, the child is missing elementary elements such as milk and vitamins that are essential to grow up healthier.

I found a very interesting link explaining how parents should take care of the health of their children starting with good nutrition. It explains the different group age and the maximum amount of sugar they should eat.
I hope people get more involved in a healthier nutrition. Eating well and being active is a lifestyle to follow for our own good!

I’ve always watched the show Toddlers & Tiaras, although, I did not watch it for the right reasons. The lack of responsibility of the parents, as well as their irrational ambitions for their child surprised my mother and I several times. Throughout the years, I maintained this certain curiosity into what extent a parent could go to in order for their child to obtain a perfect image. From spray tans to fake eye lashes, this caffeine situation does not shock me at all. We can clearly observe from watching this television show that parents neglect the importance of childhood and do not take into account any limitations. Furthermore, this incident is self-explanatory into how these parents have no logical reasoning in regards of their child’s mental and physical health. Overall, this topic intrigues me due to the fact that it provides a form of insanity people are willing to go through and put another individual through in order to achieve a superficial goal.

I do not believe that what the mother is doing is right because the role of being a parent is taking care of your child in order for them to grow up into the best they can be. Being a parent comes with a multitude of responsibilities and being concerned in their child’s well-being is one of them. Caffeine is a drug that should not be taken by two year olds. These toddlers are not aware of the consequences and the impact caffeine has. They should be getting juice, filled with vitamins and minerals that benefit them and their growth.

Despite my negative opinion about this mother, I do not think this is enough of a reason for her rights to be taken away. It is not like she is violent or aggressive with her child but only that she does not have the best intentions. Thus, she is not a good role model but she is not inhuman either. In addition, parents and children who participate to these beauty contest lose their sense of normality since they are constantly surrounded by this type of atmosphere.

I agree with you that the mother should be under supervision of a social worker. That would provide her with guidance into what is correct to do and what is not. Therefore, it will enforce positive parenting and will limit this type of extreme parental behavior.

There are also other issues with the show other than irrational decisions/actions made by parents such as the sexualization of young girls which more information can be found in the following article:

Everyone has a different way of parenting his or her child. Some use methods thinking they are the best for their child. I have watched the show Toddlers and Tiaras before on TLC and the world of pageants is controversial. Many parents will take extreme measures in order for their child to win the biggest trophy, the biggest crown, and the biggest money prize. Pageant moms and dads will give "Pixie Sticks", special drinks, caffeine, soda, and candy to their child to maximize their energy.

This topic interests me because it involves the health of young children. The rate of child obesity and health problems in the 21st century keeps increasing every year. I believe that this mother is initiating bad habits in her child's lifestyle and is absolutely not doing the right thing. The notions of health, nutrition and physical activity are developed at a young age to have a balance and healthy life in the future. However, I do not believe that this mother should be taken her rights to care for her child. This mother should instead consult a nutritionist to get advice on which food, nutrients and liquids would be the most appropriate for her child's well-being.

There are many other ways to improve a child's performance whether it is for sports, arts or pageants. A good night sleep, a healthy meal and daily physical exercise are the perfect combination. There are many other food products where sugar can be found, especially in fruits and vegetables. Unfortunately, if this mother continues giving caffeine to her this two-year-old child, it will eventually become a strong addiction and she will not be able to function without it.

I found an interesting article about other measures parents take to optimize their child's performance at pageants. This mother is also playing with her child's health, not by giving her caffeine, but by changing her physical appearance:

This topic has a lot of interest to me. The reason is because my parents did not let me drink coffee when I was younger. Now that I'm older, they don't mind. I believe that many parents go a bit too extreme with their child, she can be a part of the category.

I didn't think what the mother was doing was right. While I was watching the video, I was positive and I considered her irresponsible. What kind of mother would make her child drink coffee at such a young age? Although my opinion had changed when the mother had said that the doctor said that her daughter is fine and in good health. If a doctor is saying that her child is fine, who are we to tell the mother to stop giving her daughter coffee?

I don't think the mother should have her child taken away from her. If the baby is in good conditition, no one should have a say to what the mother is doing for her baby.

If the mother is feeding the same amount of sugar to her daughter compared to what she needs, except in coffee, there is no harm. If it helps the child per for better, there shouldn't be a problem with it. I don't think it would affect the child in the future in a negative way.

This website shows that only if a kid consumes too much caffeine, then it is bad, or else it cannot be that bad.

First of all, I really don’t think this mother is right when she gives caffeine to her 2 year old. Many researchers say that caffeine is bad for the health…even more for children. It changes blood pressure, impacts sleep, increases the heartbeat and affects many other things. I don’t think we should give this type of drugs to children to make them perform more and more. The side effects of this stimulant are too important for a little child like this star.
Even if I am totally against her way of doing things, I think this mother shouldn’t be taken away of her daughter just because of the caffeine. I agree with you Katrina when you say that a social worker should at least follow this case and see if it’s the only abuse this mother is doing.

This site is telling all the side effect of the caffeine and how bad it is:

The human body is a complex metabolism. Moreover, because each metabolism is constructed differently, it exists all kind of disadvantage humans have to face everyday of their life. However, brands over the time have developed all types of consumption product in order to enhance or cure people’s flaws. For example, caffeine is well known to prevent someone’s tiredness. Sadly, one should know that this product at variance should not target a young public because of its negative effects it has on health and body.

I wanted to respond to this article because I do not think that the mother should feed her baby caffeine. Already, caffeine is not recognized for its healthiest outcome on the body. In fact, according to Live Science, Dr. Marcie Schneider, a former member of the American Academy of paediatrics committee on nutrition, caffeine increases the heart rate and the blood pressure it affects the running of the body’s metabolism, the mood (such as anxiety), the appetite, and other negative effects that are certainly not good on one’s body, especially on an undeveloped body. In fact, one needs to know is that caffeine not only does it affects one’s body, but it particularly worsen the case if the subject is a child because their brain is more sensitive to the effects of caffeine. Indeed, as Dr. Nicole Caldwell, assistant professor of paediatrics, In fact, it can cause them (in addition to the standard and harmful effects) to be hyperactive, nervous and anxious, worsen stomach problems and to have sleep problems.

All in all, I do not think that it is good to start at an early age to consume products that could make them addicted to it because not only caffeine can have a lot of negative effects on one’s body but the fact that they start consuming it at an early age will increase their chances to develop these harmful effects. Therefore, even though the mother claims that her child seems to perform better with this substance, I surely do not think it is worth the negative effects the caffeine inflicts him, which is why feeding her child with it is considered very irresponsible from the mother.

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