Let me start this article by saying I don’t think Youtube is evil. I don’t think that if your child watches it their brain is going to rot. And if you still let your child watch Youtube, I don’t judge you whatsoever. I used to let my kids watch Youtube because it has amazing educational videos that distracted them so I could get things done and taught them valuable things in the process. Youtube was a built in babysitter and it’s FREE! Really, it’s a fantastic thing. However, in the era we are in now, of the Momo challenge, vulgar Peppa Pig Videos, and disturbing ads playing in the middle of our children’s media, I realized I needed to maybe have more discretion over what exactly my kids are watching on YouTube. Especially because these videos are not just appearing on Youtube, but Youtube kids. The version of the app that is marketed specifically to minors and is supposedly a safe app for kids to scroll through media on. The thought of these horrifying videos popping up in front of my innocent, sweet, and impressionable children was scary, but not enough to make me ban Youtube all together.
Of course I cannot speak for all parents who let their children watch youtube, but I can speak some (c’mon you know it’s most of us.) Youtube was used to distract my kids. Us mom need all the time we can get with our children being entertained. We love our kids, but we also love being able to actually get things done around the house, run errands, or for God’s sake get some ME time! So I came to the conclusion that I did not feel Youtube to be a threat if I was just always watching with my kids. Censoring what they were watching and making sure nothing crazy was popping up in between videos, that the ads playing were age appropriate, and that my little ones weren’t clicking on suggested videos that appeared to be age appropriate, but really were videos of old grannies murdering people with a bat (yes, this is my own specific experience that I have had with a youtube video. **face palm and SMFH**. It really was a simple fix and I stand by it. Us moms just need to put more effort into watching our kids when they are connected to the internet. It was that moment and for that reason that I decided to not let my kids watch Youtube. “Ban” it in the house, if you will.
“If Youtube is something I am only allowing my kids to use when I can be right there next to them, why am I putting a screen in front of their face, when I could be spending time with them and teaching them something valuable myself.”
If Youtube is something I am only allowing my kids to use when I can be right there next to them, why am I putting a screen in front of their face when I could be spending time with them and teaching them something valuable myself. Yes Baby Shark is so awesome, but what if we just played music, sang the song, and danced like sharks together instead. Yes, Blippi teaches so many amazing things about fire trucks. But what if we read a book about one together, instead. Yes, that one video taught them their ABC’s, numbers, and colors. But, what if you were capable of teaching them these things and so much more by just giving your children attention. I decided to not let my kids watch Youtube, because if I have to be right there with them, I would rather be face to face and not face to screen.
“I decided to not let my kids watch Youtube, because if I have to be right there with them, I would rather be face to face and not face to screen.”
Look, I am not perfect. I’ve thought about when the time comes in my kid’s lives where I am out in public, kids are losing their s*$t and I just need them to be quiet for a few more minutes so I can finish signing papers for something, or whatever else I am doing. But, I have developed back up plans. Youtube is NOT the only good distraction for kiddos. I have invested in a LeapPad which has been an incredible distraction for the kids. It’s completely safe and educational and my kids only have it during long car rides and in public when needed. I have also downloaded age appropriate movies on my phone, and we always bring along special toys (ones that my son’s are extremely interested in) that they only get on long car rides and out in public when needed. Keeps them distracted for days!
I never realized how much cutting Youtube out would benefit me as a mom. I was a little nervous about it at first. I felt like the Youtube videos my sons watched were so much more entertaining than shows on Hulu and Netflix. I thought the days of me cleaning and organizing were over. But, I was totally wrong. Two of the most fantastic ways to distract/entertain your children while teaching them valuable things: create special activities for them to do that are safe and given to them only at special times. Of course this would vary depending on what age your children are. The trick is to offer new things they are not used to. Anything NEW is exciting to kids. The second and MOST IMPORTANT way is to include your children in what you are doing. Kids love their parents attention and love to feel like they are helping. It doesn’t matter if your child is a year or 9 years, get them involved. There is no need for them to be in front of a screen. If you are folding, let them help you fold. If you are doing dishes, let them dry the plastic ones. If you are doing a face mask, let them mask too!
“Being a mom is HARD and when there are things like Youtube to make life easier, by all means use them. But, I hope that maybe I have offered some valuable insight to a life without Youtube and hope that maybe I can bring a few more mamas a little closer to their babies.”
Mama, like I said I do not judge you for using Youtube. It’s an amazing creating and has some really amazing videos for kiddos to watch. Cutting out Youtube to spend more times with my kids is a personal decision I have made. And I will let you know that it’s not always easy. Sometimes I do want to just put a video on so I can be left for a moment. Sometimes I don’t want to have my toddlers help me “fold.” Being a mom is HARD and when there are things like Youtube to make life easier, use it if you need it. But, I hope that maybe I have offered some valuable insight to a life without Youtube and hope that maybe I can bring a few more mamas a little closer with their babies.