Should You Let Your Child Watch YouTube Videos?

Being a parent in 2021 isn’t easy let’s face it. Not counting a global pandemic to worry about, every day we’re competing with technology. Don’t worry this isn’t a technology is bad post. I’m actually watching YouTube while I write this post. Technology and kids is a hot topic and parents have a wide range of philosophies on how to deal with the subject. If you live on planet earth though, most likely you can’t just cut them off from it completely. Unless you’re Amish or another group who doesn’t use technology then you probably don’t need to read this, or read any of my posts actually. You’re probably living a relaxing life as a farmer. Anyway, YouuTube can be a parent’s best friend if used right but can quickly become their worst nightmare too.

YouTube: Your Best Friend

There are a zillion videos on YouTube that can be used for teaching purposes. For example, my son loves truck videos where they teach colors. We’re the ones teaching him the colors technically, but we let YouTube enforce it. If you can really find anything on YouTube to help reinforce what your son or daughter is learning in school whether it’s colors or Geometry. Maybe if there was Geometry on Youtube when I was in school I wouldn’t have done so terribly but that’s a story for a different blog. Actually not really cause no one cares about my Geometry insights. Anyway, in addition to using it as a teaching tool, if you can limit the time spent on it, the better it’ll be. As kids get older, they realize they can control the iPad and iPhone and then you’re really in trouble. The more you can control and limit the better. It’s like with anything, moderation is best.

kids eating ice cream

YouTube: Your Worst Enemy

As great as YouTube can be, it can turn bad fast. Especially with younger kids. When we first showed my son a YouTube video, it was to change his diaper and keep him distracted. It worked, but as he got older, he started being able to verbalize what videos he wanted to watch. That’s when problems began. Since there were literally a billion videos of garbage trucks, he couldn’t decide which one he wanted so he got frustrated, we got frustrated and it wasn’t fun for anyone. There’s also so much junk on Youtube that you really have to make sure you don’t go too far down a rabbit hole. You can quickly go from watching a video of different colored garbage trucks to Blippi at a grocery store eating apples. If you don’t know who Blippi is, I’m jealous of you. Anyway, the point is, you really have to watch where you’re going on YouTube. The best strategies I can give are to either try and redirect and stay off YouTube and just watch something else or if you’re going to be on YouTube, try and stay on track and stick with the subject of videos that your son or daughter initially wanted. Don’t just put it on and then go in the other room and let autoplay take them into a million different worlds.

I know it’s tough, trust me, but I do think that YouTube can be used to a parent’s benefit it just takes a little work, like everything in life. So pop on YouTube and get ready to steer the ship and try not to hit an iceberg.

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