Before having kids, I was one of those “mommy critics” who swore over not letting my child sit and be glued to the screen watching videos or playing games. But years later, I learned that quality work-family life balance is quite challenging to achieve. The Internet has played a huge contribution to my parenting – most credits to YouTube.
I am one of those parents with a kid so obsessed watching other kids on Youtube – anything that a “digitod” would never miss. (I’m one of those who is guilty over letting the screen babysit so that I could take some moments to either nap or use the toilet in peace.)
But what’s so attractive with these videos? Forget about the nursery rhymes with the catchiest animations because the competing videos of unboxing surprise toys are even more exciting! According to Jocelyn Brewer, a psychologist, in an article on Kidspot, “Children are highly engaged, interested in and passionate about these videos because they see a sense of themselves being represented.”
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In our case, YouTube has greatly contributed to my kid’s communication skills development and has encouraged her to discover her own talents.
Although it has its benefits, being cautious is still highly recommended as it poses many potential risks to our kids’ well-being including screen addiction and ‘accidental media usage’ (when young viewers stumble upon inappropriate content).
YouTube is actually intended for users who are at least 13 due to some content restrictions but in the recent years, Google has added parental controls that can limit materials which are flagged as inappropriate by the YouTube community.
YouTube’s home page would normally show video suggestions, and channel recommendations based on recently watched videos and keyword searches. I try not to watch videos that are not kid-friendly for this reason since my kid watches either on my phone or my computer.
Yet no matter how careful we are, sometimes internet glitch cannot be avoided. It would be best that we monitor our kids’ YouTube usage from time to time and there are many ways to do that.
Here are some tips to help you strategize your child’s YouTube usage:
1. CLEAR or PAUSE your WATCH and SEARCH HISTORY to prevent too many unwanted video suggestions.
2. Manage your channel recommendations. When you see channel recommendations that you don’t want your kid to see, you can click on the x button meaning you are not interested to see such kind of videos.
3. Check your subscriptions. I have found out that my kid has accidentally subscribed to channels other than my selections so make sure to double check and monitor your list from time to time.
It would be best to sit with your child and choose subscription together. You can also create a playlist and add videos to ‘watch later’ to customize the programming schedule of content your kids will be exposed to.
4. Examine your watch later list. Your child might have accidentally clicked on some videos to watch later without you knowing. If that happens, you can always opt to remove such unwanted videos from your list.
5. Turn ON the RESTRICTED MODE.
(Yes, my kid is also RYAN’s number 1 fan like yours!)
6. And if that AUTOPLAY is somewhat bothersome, you can choose to turn it OFF.
7. Check viewing statistics and use the “remind me to take a break” feature.
There’s also a YouTube app for kids that you can download, though I have not yet tried it yet. If you did, please share your review in the comment section below. Leave some suggestions if I have forgotten some points to include here, that would always come in handy.
PS. Sorry Adam, but I need to reject you for the time being.