It’s not just YouTube…


Don’t even get me started.

Sure- it’s great for some things. Want to learn how to build a shelf, or figure out how to install a car seat? YouTube has people walking you through the process step by step.

Missed the episode of what you wanted to watch, but you only wanted to see that one part? YouTube is a perfect spot for the random clip.

Want to buy something, but it’s expensive and there are a few options? YouTube probably has some great reviews of people sharing the pros and cons of each product.

Sure, it serves its purpose. I’ve definitely spent some time utilizing YouTube for a variety of purposes, even for just plain entertainment. But the moment it creeped into my kids’ lives, all bets were off.

I know there are creeps out there who use YouTube to prey on little kids. Companies use it to spam their minds with ideas for all of the useless toys. People create content that gives inappropriate ideas for the young ages of my kids or worse, give them nightmares.

Andddd…it also has educational content where my kids can learn facts about topics they are interested in. It has some great videos on how to create things- directed drawings, crafts, etc. It has brain breaks that my kids can use to move their bodies. There’s some really good stuff.

But it’s the uncertainty of the content that worries me. I’ve been down the rabbit hole with youtube, the “connections” the algorithm makes based on my viewing content can get pretty stretched. Sure, as an adult I can make those decisions and be a critical consumer. But my kids? They are 6 and under- they don’t have that ability honed quite yet.

So when my daughter started watching youtube, I didn’t know what to do. At first I monitored it closely. But that became really hard to do at all times and most of the content was fine, so we let it happen. Then I overheard one of the programs and was uncomfortable with the topic so I told her no more. You can imagine how that went down.

Yup- it was an epic disaster and I found myself banning YouTube.

But here is the thing about youtube- it’s so easily accessible. She found ways to watch it without my knowledge. She would sneak it in. That’s what happens when you ban things. You make whatever it is completely irresistible. She’s 6 and she knew what to do. Don’t underestimate kids. I’m a teacher, I should have known better. But I was also tired and busy and went the easy route.

So I learned my lesson and went about it a different way.

Naturally we discussed trust and responsibility. We also talked about what YouTube provides. We highlighted the positives. I mentioned and explained the negatives. She shared what she wanted to get out of it and we compromised. She could watch YouTube as long as she made good decisions about the content. She limited it to certain channels with specific content she wanted. I showed her how YouTube can get you off those channels pretty easily, so I helped her navigate that to keep her on the right track. I would watch it with her sometimes and we would have similar versions the conversation about being a good digital citizen and a critical consumer. We also discussed honesty and trust.

How’s it going? Pretty well. We check in often and sometimes she shares with me why she made certain decisions. She tried one channel and realized it wasn’t a good idea, so she left it and then told me.

Huh, too young to be a critical consumer? Nope. She definitely needs guidance and this option requires me to get involved. But, that’s kind of the point, right? Banning it made the problem worse and ignoring it won’t make it go away. But talking about it, working through it has made it manageable and helpful. It’s taught her to be critical and make decisions that would be best for her. What more could a mother want?

By Kessick



  1. Oh man! That is a tough issue. Technology can be so amazing and so terrible. It sounds like your talk was good, though, and that you’ve come to an agreement. Six year olds are wiser than we give them credit for.


  2. I’m so glad you mentioned YouTube! I’ve been worried about it for a while now. I think it’s great that it can be used for so many different purposes, but I also think there are dangers involved. I’ve seen videos on YouTube where kids are being taught how to do dangerous things, like how to make bombs. I think it’s really important to be aware of what our kids are watching on YouTube, and to be sure that we’re protecting them from predators.


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