‘Toddlers and Tiaras’: Kids using ‘Go-Go Juice’ and ‘Pageant Crack’ to help compete

A Georgia mom who is regularly featured with her first-grade daughter on “Toddler and Tiaras” is under fire for giving her child caffeine and sugar to keep her “up” on long pageant days.

June Shannon of McIntyre makes a concoction of Red Bull and Mountain Dew that she calls “Go-Go Juice.”

The mom turned to the Go-Go Juice after finding that two bags of Pixy Stixs – also known as “Pageant Crack” – were not enough to keep her first-grader alert during an 8- to 10-hour pageant.

From ABC News:

“ ‘When they do get on stage you have to be alive and…your personality has to shine a long day,’ Shannon told ‘Good Morning America.’  ‘A pageant day can last from 7 in the morning to 6,7,8,9, 10 at night, so performing and getting a kid up that early and lasting all day without a rest, you have to energize their body.’ ”

“There are far worse things,” she said, defending her choice.  “I could be giving her alcohol….”

“Everybody does it,” she told “GMA.”  “There are normal people who give their kids this, so why is it such a big issue with us pageant moms that do it all weekend to keep our kids energized and awake?”

ABC News points out that “According to a 2011 report from the American Academy of Pediatrics, too much caffeine for a young child can lead to neurological and cardiovascular problems.  Doctors also say that too much caffeine and sugar can to lead to a risk of physical dependence and addiction.”

Is it ever OK to give kids caffeine to help them wake up or stay awake? Would it be different if she was just drinking Coca Cola or Pepsi? Does the Red Bull throw it into a different arena? Is the caffeine worse than the sugar?

Are people judging these families more harshly because they are involved with pageants?

At what age would it be OK to give kids caffeine to help them wake up or stay awake?

43 comments Add your comment

Augusta

February 8th, 2012
12:36 pm

I believe this is ONE OF THE WORST shows on TV EVER!!!!

It’s horrible the way these children are treated. They don’t have a natural childhood.

And the amount of money spent…..O M G…..

this is borderline child abuse.

Me

February 8th, 2012
12:43 pm

Moving on — nothing to see here except some idiots treating their kids to something akin to legal abuse just as @Augusta states.

i LOVE...

February 8th, 2012
12:49 pm

this is an example of bad parenting at its best! some people should not be allowed to reproduce.

Figment

February 8th, 2012
12:53 pm

I don’t think children should have caffiene and their sugar should be limited. I rarely let my son have soda, usually it’s only a sip or two of ginger ale or root beer, nothing with caffiene. Red Bull, no way! Not for children. I’ve seen parts of this show, these pagent moms are crazy.

A

February 8th, 2012
1:01 pm

This is child abuse pure and simple. Sexualizing kids, pumping them with caffeine and sugar, really? And they plaster it on national TV? Where are social services?

JOD

February 8th, 2012
1:05 pm

No to all questions. Maybe a little Sprite or Ginger Ale in elementary school, but no caffeine or other stuff ’til teen years. This show is repulsive and so are the women on it. My husband likes to watch it for the shock factor, but I refuse since it gives me agita.

☺☻ Have A Smile!

February 8th, 2012
1:24 pm

Definitely if you have to use stimulants to keep your little one revved-up for a pageant, I would recommend that you need to re-evaluate your priorities. Definitely isn’t a healthy plan.

It isn’t, however, “child abuse.” That expression gets thrown-around like it’s going out of style.

Has anyone noticed that the majority of the mothers on that show are overweight? At least that’s the impression I got.

Morgan

February 8th, 2012
1:48 pm

i don’t think that this is borderline abuse….it IS abuse! These mothers ought to be jailed for what they put these little girls through!

Lori

February 8th, 2012
1:52 pm

I don’t watch that show on a matter of principle. These types of competitions are just a bad idea any way you look at it.

shaggy

February 8th, 2012
1:53 pm

Next stop on the dysfunctional train is Methamphetamine…ALL ABOARD!

ANYONE who pays money, participates, sponsors, or even reads this story about these “pageants” on this blog needs to suffer caning…Singapore style.

Oh CRAP, why is that little Asian guy chasing me with that long stick thing? Stop hitting me with that…WHAP-OUCH! WHOP-OWW! WHAP! DANG that HURTS………………….

Stacey

February 8th, 2012
2:36 pm

ROFL @ Shaggy!

Soccer MILF

February 8th, 2012
2:37 pm

When my daughters were in pagents we used to give them slap them to give them a nice blush and then they would shotgun 5 jolt colas….after they purge themselves of course.

camille

February 8th, 2012
3:07 pm

In my personal opinion it is not right, so NO to all of the questions asked. However, I will not pass judgment. I am sure that there are things I do or don’t do as a parent and others would not agree with.

ATLMom

February 8th, 2012
3:12 pm

OMG!!! If I drink a full Mountain Dew or Red Bull, I get the shakes. Imagine that in a 40lb toddlers body. Really this is not abuse but will lead to some serious needs of counseling in about 5 years. For the mothers and daughters. Last night I stopped by to see why a parent was breaking down, her daughter moved too fast and she was so upset she stormed away from the child. The mothers are trying to relive fantasies long gone and the poor daughters are the objects to carry them out. And, some of them need to be disciplined – Yes – mothers and daughters.

ATLMom

February 8th, 2012
3:14 pm

Go-Go Juice and Pageant Crack – yeah in about 5 years it will be Meth and Crack if the continue to push them.

JATL

February 8th, 2012
3:18 pm

I seriously think after two bags of Pixie Sticks that Red Bull mixed with Mountain Dew could cause the child to have heart palpitations or something! What on earth must her blood sugar levels be?!!?! Not only are these nuts just that -IDIOT NUTJOBS -but I think they’re possibly physically endangering their children.

My 3 year old is allowed no caffeine or sodas and my 5 (soon to be 6 -how on earth did that happen?) year old gets to have a kiddie-sized Sprite or Coke once in a blue moon as a very special treat with a Happy Meal or something -it’s part of his whole “experience.” I would never give it to either of them to keep them awake. Why on God’s green earth would I want to keep them AWAKE? I want them to go to sleep!!!!! Of course I’m not a rednecky, trashy, psycho pageant mother…

A

February 8th, 2012
3:46 pm

Sorry @Have a Smile, this is child abuse. Anything that harms or could potentially harm a child is abuse.

Layla

February 8th, 2012
3:59 pm

I may need to hand in my Libertarian membership card for saying this, but there are certain people who should be forcibly sterilized. These “parents” are part of that group.

JATL

February 8th, 2012
4:21 pm

@Layla- I feel the same way!

Negative Nancy

February 8th, 2012
4:53 pm

So I have to say, I don’t really have anything against pageant parents in general. I know all Toddlers and Tiaras shows us is the crazy moms who are shoving flippers into their daughters’ mouths and selling their kidneys to pay for another metric ton of crinoline. But like a lot of other things in life, I think there’s a right way and a wrong way to do this. I could see how being in pageants where the girl gets to pick a nice, reasonably priced dress and spends a couple of months practicing a dance routine to perform before an audience could be useful for helping her develop public performance skills, sportsmanship, and self-awareness.

But the sugar and caffeine! Is this really necessary? Kids have plenty of energy under their own steam. Those moms shouldn’t have been giving them pixie sticks in the first place. It’s counter-intuitive, but sugar will make you fatigued, not energized. It probably wasn’t the hours that were tiring them out, it was probably the candy. If those girls had been able to lay down for a few minutes halfway backstage halfway through the event, and had healthy snacks and drinks on hand, they could make it through an 8-10 hour day much more easily than the parents could. I mean granted, giving her pageant crack once in a while only on pageant days isn’t going to turn her into a neurologically impaired midget, but common sense would tell you it’s unnecessarily harmful. Personally, I think caffeinated sodas are fine in sane amounts in the latter part of elementary school. Coffee is kosher for a teenager.

motherjanegoose

February 8th, 2012
5:25 pm

I have never understood pageants/ pageant Moms.

Not something I ever explored with my daughter.
She did tap, baton, sports and music lessons but I would not have the time, finances, nor energy to devote to pageants. She also got a puppy which she trained and housebroke herself. In the long run…how is the intensity of pageants beneficial to raising a well rounded individual? I do know some girls have gotten college scholarships but no matter who you are…beauty will fade!

I saw this in a Everyday Psychology article and it is interesting: Mothers of these children are usually trying to live their own dreams through their young daughters. I am talking about dreams that they either could not accomplish or accomplished in such way that they’ve become a way of life.

I was not the homecoming queen nor captain of the cheerleading squad and I am fine with it :).

Cashier

February 8th, 2012
6:31 pm

OK Super moms! I worked at a grocery store as a cashier. And I have seen many parents buying their kids, toddlers on up, SODA, CHIPS, AND CANDY! Some even buy energy drinks and hand it over to their kid Just to shut their kid up! So please, stop w/ the no caffeine drama! And on top of that, I have seen the most spoiled brats that were ever born and increasing at a fast speed! So PARENTS! It’s time to start parenting!

motherjanegoose

February 8th, 2012
7:32 pm

@Cashier…if you buy your child brussels sprouts to shut them up…you have a problem. Buying anything to shut your kid up is a problem. I too am alarmed at the increasing speed of out of control children…sad but true. Thanks for your intake. I have mentioned this before but get snide remarks here that say things have always been this way. Not so in the education field…how about retail?

djm_NC

February 8th, 2012
7:39 pm

ive never seen this show-and im sure i never will-i have issues with the whole kiddie pagent thing …but i have a much bigger issue with calling something youre giving a kid ‘pagent crack’ geezus.

catlady

February 8th, 2012
8:59 pm

Oh. My. God! Can we say “abuse”?

Of course, I am rather “conservative,” at least in child-raising.

Kat

February 8th, 2012
9:36 pm

@mjg: Thanks for your “intake?” Maybe input?
@A: If anything that could “potentially” harm a child is also abuse, then let’s keep them out of cars, off the playgrounds, etc.

You people sure get worked up over nothing – especially since no one on here watches the show.

If you don’t watch these shows, what does it matter – these kids will encounter the problems either physically (via the extra calories), sexually (performing and assuming that you must be cute and entertaining to be considered a “winner), and so forth.

Regarding the caffeine issue: Any parent who gives their child chocolate is ALSO giving their child caffeine, so that brings in more people.

DB

February 8th, 2012
10:52 pm

ANYTHING on “Toddlers and Tiaras” is automatically against the laws of man and nature, IMHO. The things these parents do to their kids . . . *shudder*. It seems like most of those families can ill-afford all the fees and costs, and their main goal seems to be trying to instill “confidence”. They want to instill confidence? Teach them to rely on their own inner resources instead of the judgements of others.

motherjanegoose

February 9th, 2012
7:39 am

@Kat…being a longtime educator, I get worked up anytime senseless parents appear to be harming their children as the children do not typically have a choice and ( to me) the behavior displayed here will have long term implications. Do you have children of your own?

FYI…I also love dogs and hate it when they are abused too.

justmy2cents

February 9th, 2012
8:18 am

Next tv show for these little darlings….16 and pregnant!

Augusta

February 9th, 2012
8:25 am

Thank you Cashier for that eye opening post. All this time I had no idea I was supposed to parent my kids. Thank you, thank you Thank you!!!!!. And I’m assuming you are a parent too….Oh wait, no you aren’t. Those without kids are the experts on raising them…..once when you’ve raise 4 kids, call me.

  ♫

February 9th, 2012
9:04 am

i don’t think that this is borderline abuse….it IS abuse! These mothers ought to be jailed for what they put these little girls through!

Sorry @Have a Smile, this is child abuse. Anything that harms or could potentially harm a child is abuse.

I’ve got your “sorry” right here.

It clearly is not good, but common sense and a well-grounded sense of reality dictates that this is NOT abuse.

Drama, much?

motherjanegoose

February 9th, 2012
9:05 am

@ Augusta…I met a family in Iowa who had 8 children. Dad was firefighter and Mom an educator. They took them to the beach in South Texas, for a summer trip. I personally cannot even imagine traveling to Texas with 8 children but I will continue the story. They ate in their condo all week and at the end of the week they told the children they would eat out at a special seafood restaurant. Everyone would dress and behave nicely. Things were going along swell ( is that an old fashioned word or what?) and then the waitress walked up to them to say,”that older couple over there will be picking up your check.” That Dad was flabbergasted, as the check was almost $200. The waitress told him, ” they are so impressed with your family that they wanted to treat you to a dinner out.” The couple was thanked profusely. I LOVED THAT STORY and had tears in my eyes as I cannot imagine taking 8 of my own kids anywhere. While I typically agree that those who are not parents sometimes have no idea what we ( as parents) are up against, I have seen wonderful behavior out of children in public places and generally try to stop and compliment the parents. ALL children have meltdowns ( mine did too) but how the parents handle it is the key. Again, if strangers compliment you and your children…YOU DID WELL. I wish I could learn from those parents of the 8 kids…amazing!

  ♫

February 9th, 2012
9:06 am

Those without kids are the experts on raising them…..once when you’ve raise 4 kids, call me.

+1

I don’t have kids to I don’t pretend to know what someone with the actual responsibilities and experience of dealing with them has to go through.

Plenty of internet “experts” are out here, unfortunately. :(

motherjanegoose

February 9th, 2012
9:10 am

Psychological abuse, also referred to as emotional abuse or mental abuse, is a form of abuse characterized by a person subjecting or exposing another to behavior that may result in psychological trauma, including anxiety, chronic depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder.[1][2][3] Such abuse is often associated with situations of power imbalance, such as abusive relationships, bullying, child abuse and in the workplace.[2][3]

Anyone seeing that besides me?

motherjanegoose

February 9th, 2012
9:11 am

sorry for the numbers, I was simply looking up the definition and I copied it as is.

JOD

February 9th, 2012
9:20 am

@MJG – Awesome story!

Kat

February 9th, 2012
11:08 am

@MJG: Yes, I have three “children of my own.” (versus other people’s children, which I presume is what you were asking about)

I’ll get you a step-stool to get off your high horse. One sec.

Tiffani

February 9th, 2012
11:26 am

Unfit mom!!! This woman says “there are far worse things, I could be giving her alcohol” Ok, so you’re not giving her alcohol but are still killing her with stimulants and sugar! Shame on you!

motherjanegoose

February 9th, 2012
11:50 am

@ Kat…I know you do not like me…it is o.k.! I have other friends here and perhaps you do too! I have made PLENTY of mistakes and continue to do so everyday. I love parents who are trying raise children who are kind and will make contributions to our society. Also understanding cause and effect. You start when they are small. The toddlers in tiara parents do not fit into that group ( to me) as the entire thing is self centered and stroking someone’s ego. The effect may not be realized until they are 12 years old.

No need to get me a step stool…I am used to being on stage…a mic would be nice…clip on is the kind I request as I talk with my hands…;). Crossing your midline enhances brain development.

Elaine Wilson

February 9th, 2012
5:20 pm

This is abuse , it will cause neurological damage. I always thought the show was designed to show the abuses and the danger of child pageants, not to condone them. ie that is why they highlighted the “go go” juice girl and her monster of a mother

actual social worker

February 9th, 2012
8:38 pm

For all the armchair experts, yes, giving the child inappropriate food or drink products is a form of abuse IF the child doesn’t receive nutritious foods at other times. If we based it on one situation all of us would be criminally negligent for giving our kids birthday cake and ice cream. Since we don’t know what the child normally eats abuse can’t be determined by us. BUT, the way some of these parents speak to the children is video documentation of emotional abuse. Unfortunately with so many children in physically neglectful situations emotional abuse is not investigated by most child protection agencies. Personally I think the emotional abuse is as scarring as physical abuse but I’ve never had a judge give as much weight to emotional abuse as he/she does for physical/sexual abuse, or neglect.

Mike

February 9th, 2012
10:10 pm

Where is child protective services when you need them. The “responsible” parent is feeding the child a concoction which stress the little one’s body. The parent is more concerned over winning a pageant that the health and well-being of the child is not a concern. One look at the mother and you see a role model? Of course the American Public that watches the show is just as much at fault. The sponsors of the pageant should be held liable for ALL ensuring health problems the young girls have because of such behavior to win. The pageant should establish rules to prevent child abuse through diets and require healthy diets. The pageant should also make weigh-ins and BMI analysis part of the program. There should be a physical fitness test as well as talent and beauty – THAT would slow down the obese, egomaniac parents from trying to live something they couldn’t.

Rad Dad # 3

February 10th, 2012
9:45 pm

Dang it, I thought this Blog was about “Busty Moms”. Then I read closer…

Yes, the parents in South Georgia making the news with their fat little daughter are truly disgusting. A obese Mom bringing up a fat hick daughter on TV.

And still people in the south wonder why the rest of the US laughs at them.