For the longest time, I felt like I had this little secret that I didn’t want to share with other parents. My 7 year old son is OBSESSED with watching YouTube videos. I don’t even remember how he discovered them but it sometimes is literally all he talks about. Kids like the Skylander Kids and Hobby Kid is part of daily conversation in our household and he’s always making his own “unboxing” videos when he gets a new toy. I never heard of other kids watching YouTube videos before so I thought this was just something strange I was letting my son do. During his 7 year doctor’s appointment, his pediatrician asked Hayden about his hobbies and the subject of his YouTube watching came up. I was thrilled when his pediatrician told me that his own 7 year old was an avid YouTube watcher also. Then, the more parents I talked to, the more I discovered that I wasn’t alone!
While I love that my son has such a passion for watching videos on YouTube, we have some rules in our house for when he has his screen time. There’s been a few channels where he has been watching and we have heard bad language or some other inappropriate content on what was supposed to be a channel geared toward children. We’ve turned on the Safety Mode for YouTube which will filter some of the inappropriate content, but we still have found that we have to monitor his YouTube viewing.
I was thrilled when I heard about YouTube Kids, thinking that it was finally going to be a safe place for Hayden to view some of his favorite videos. Unfortunately, YouTube Kids has been under fire lately for showing inappropriate content. There’s been content slipping through the cracks that isn’t appropriate for kids not to mention the ads and product placements.
I know that YouTube Kids launched with good intentions but it’s definitely disappointing when you see your kids watching something they shouldn’t be watching. Here are some of my suggestions for your kids when watching YouTube Videos.
Put on the Safety Mode
Enabling the safety mode won’t necessarily get rid of all the bad content, but it will filter out most of the junk for kids.
Watch YouTube Videos with Your Kids
If I’m not watching videos WITH my son, I have him sitting next to me while he watches the videos so I can hear them. But by watching videos with Hayden, it’s opened up some great dialogue between us and sparked some great questions!
Share a YouTube Account
To create or login to a YouTube account, you only need a Gmail account. Hayden is logged into YouTube under my Gmail account so I am able to see all of his recently watched videos by checking YouTube on my phone or on my PC. If you have an older child that has their own email address, you can make it a condition that you have to be logged onto YouTube through their email address.
Subscribe to Channels
There are a few channels that Hayden watches and I know that they are safe so we have subscribed to them. When new videos appear on the channel, they can email you or it will show up under the subscribed channels in YouTube.
With some of these rules, your child can safely watch YouTube videos without you having to worry. What do you think of kids watching YouTube videos and YouTube Kids?