Does your child use phrases like “as you can see” when he’s playing with a toy, as though he has an audience? Does he talk about the “detail” of a toy and then go on to explain what he thinks of it in front of a non-existent camera? Does he constantly ask you for a YouTube channel?
More importantly, should you create one for him?
The rise of YouTube has brought with it a new generation of kids who idolize not the mainstream celebrities on TV, but regular people and kids like themselves on YouTube. The people behind toy reviews and gaming channels and beauty vlogs, these are the new superstars in their eyes.
Should you discourage it and reject such advances in technology? Or should you support your kids and teach them how to swim in the digital sea? Parenting in a digital age with kids who want to stay connected is no small task. Hopefully, this guide will help make digital parenting easier in a fandom-world that loves YouTube.
YouTube isn’t all that bad. In fact, if your child wants to someday be a celebrity, you can help launch his dreams on YouTube. Grow a following and kickstart the process by buying YouTube Views. Videos with a lot of views will attract more people to come watch, which doesn’t just mean more views but also more subscribers.
If you‘re simply dedicated to supporting your child’s interests, below are some of the benefits of having a YouTube channel.
YouTube can improve and develop your child’s imagination and creativity. YouTube provides motivation and outlet for both.
Your kids can do crafts, write storyboards and scripts, but also express their imagination and creativity in thinking, just like Evan of EvanTubeHD.
Evan once built a rare Lego toy figure without actually opening the toy’s plastic wrapper in an “unboxing” video, because he thought the value of the toy would be decimated if it were unwrapped. That may not be your idea of creative thinking but on YouTube, it’s an example of the kind of thoughts your child might start thinking when they start artistically presenting themselves in some way, even if that’s just opening toys on camera.
Watch it below at around 4 minutes.
Imagination and creativity are abilities that are perhaps not well appreciated today when “real” skills are needed for “real” jobs, but the internet and the growing need for innovative solutions might soon change that.
On YouTube, kids learn many different skills. YouTube can instill an understanding of consistency and deadlines — at least when you‘re serious about growing your child’s channel and helping him produce videos regularly.
It can also acquaint your child with big-boy tools like video editing and production, video streaming, lighting and video equipment, among others. Your kid will also learn that “marketing” isn’t just selling Girl Scout cookies or Boy Scout popcorn.
These are all skills that are valuable in the digital world, and they may end up helping your kids make a lot of money in the future, especially if they start early. These are skills that YouTube makes easy and fun for them to learn.
YouTube is great for bonding with your kids! If you’re struggling for activity ideas that you can do together, YouTube can be it.
Videos can take hours to make if you want to make a high-quality production with lots of editing. Depending on your child’s motivation and the amount of editing required, a 2 to 5-minute video can take anywhere from 1 to 6 hours for some and up to a week for others.
Spending long hours of collaboration with your kid can only bring you closer. From a psychological vantage point, bonding like this is also very good for the emotional, social and cognitive development of your child.
Aside from privacy, safety and nasty people on YouTube, your commitment matters. Creating and maintaining a YouTube channel is a lot of work, so if you don’t have plenty of time, that may be your biggest problem.
The main thing you have to consider is that YouTube is not made for kids. In fact, YouTube does not allow children under 13 to have an account of their own and parents must set one up for them.
So, yes, setting up an account for kids under 13 years old is OK. It’s also free — that is, if you don’t consider your own data as payment. YouTube’s parent company, Google, collects and sells data. So, anything your kid clicks on or writes on the platform, Google knows, and those they sell the info to are privy to everything your child does on YouTube.
We’ll talk more about this below as the issue overlaps with privacy. Safety and privacy are not mutually exclusive because once privacy is lost, you open yourself to threats, trolls and everything in between.
For Jonathan and Anna Saccone-Joly, who film their children Emilia and Eduardo, the threat came in the form of a physical card. The person wrote that their daughter’s eyes will be “gouged out.” For other kid YouTubers, it’s death threats.
On top of that, there are also threats from misguided fans of bullies on the platform who prey on younger kids on YouTube. This bully, in particular, includes clips of what he calls “cringiest kids” in his videos and together with his fans, shame them for things like having few subscribers.
Yes, the world can be mean and cruel for your kids. Being involved in everything your kids put online should be a priority. You should also discuss safety and privacy and then maybe disable comments on the channel.
Everything you upload on YouTube will stay there forever. Even if you decide to delete it later on, you’ll never know who copied and posted it and you won’t be able to track everything down or have it removed online.
This is the reality you’re facing, and the fact that the loss of privacy will apply to the whole family.
What you can do is make sure you do all the uploading or adjust the privacy settings of the account so videos don’t automatically get published. Choose the videos you’re willing to share with the world and that you think your child’s future self would be OK sharing, no matter how many subscribers you have.
At least, when you have that out of the way, you can focus on increasing that view count so your kid can get the most out of the experience. You can buy YouTube Views to boost your searchability. A massive number of views will help get your child’s videos up the suggested video list on YouTube and on search results in Google, making it more likely for people to find them when searching.
People also tend to favor videos with lots of views, so if they see that they’ll come flocking, letting you rack up even more views.
Malicious and hurtful comments are everywhere, not just on YouTube. Protect your child from people who find happiness in hurting others by hiding, removing and disabling comments on your child’s videos.
You should also talk to him about this because even though he won’t see any comments, he might still get cruel remarks offline from people at school (one of the children mentioned above was getting comments from a schoolmate). It’s also not a bad idea to prepare him for when he really does see comments from strangers expressing their dislike of him — the world can be harsh.
YouTube superstars might soon replace caped superheroes and Disney princesses in the eyes of many kids. This, and the massive phenomenon that is YouTube itself, may be the reason why kids these days want to have their own YouTube channel.
The pros and cons here are just some of the most important reasons why you should or should not allow your kids to have their own channel. The future might bring more, but until that day, allow your kids to express themselves — or not. It all depends on your parenting style and what you believe is good for your little ones.
Date: September 22, 2017 / Categories: Explainer, / Author: Chell