If you are a parent to a tween or even a tot you may have noticed how obsessed kids are with YouTube. Teenagers of today are glued to it for funny videos and youngsters have come to rely on YouTube for entertainment especially when mum and dad are busy.
If you are a parent to a tween or even a tot you may have noticed how obsessed kids are with YouTube. Teenagers of today are glued to it for funny videos and youngsters have come to rely on YouTube for entertainment especially when mum and dad are busy. You would only have to look around a coffee shop or a restaurant to notice how big an impact YouTube has had on kids as many kiddies are seen sitting quietly on their parents mobile or kids are on their very own tablet! The problem with this is that many parents are unaware of the problems that YouTube has with its inability to manage and supervise the content that is uploaded online. This leaves children at risk of viewing inappropriate content and some of which can be quite upsetting and utterly disgusting for adults - let alone kiddies. Many parents know that their kids love YouTube, in fact, many children are choosing YouTube instead of other traditional viewing means, turning away from television to spend their time on YouTube but is this wise and is it safe?
The difference primarily is that children who watch TV are watching shows approved by regulatory standards and what is put on to these channels is appropriate for the age of the child. There are no risks attributed to children watching kids channels yet with YouTube we can’t honestly say the same thing; can we? YouTube has been subject to controversy throughout the past few years and it has courted many a question mark over its advertising, content and inappropriate clips that have appeared in “child-friendly” videos. YouTube Kids is specifically targeted at children and apparently, it is curated and educational for young viewers eyes and ears, however, this too has been questioned by parents. While you can generate user profiles and modify it to certain choices its parental controls are quite basic. YouTube Kids is supposed to filter out the bad material, but parents need to remember that it is still a part of the main YouTube website and sifts through the corrupt junk stopping it from making its way to kiddies’ channels, but this isn’t functioning perfectly either. Many people have reported some worrying findings and problems with YouTube Kids including nudity, vulgarity and unsuitable ads for the age demographic.
YouTube is trying to eradicate the chances of children viewing inadequate content but there is only so much a computer system can do and some of the supervision must be completed by us (the parents) by these few tips below:
- Supervise the content your children watch on YouTube and it is easier than you might think. Make it a rule that the kids watch the channel while in your company - perhaps in the kitchen while you are cooking.
- Keep an eye on their viewing and don’t assume your child won’t find their way to something they shouldn’t be looking at.
- Pay attention to YouTube channels online that are getting bad publicity, make a list of what your child watches and only allow them to view those channels. Strike-out channels if they get into the news headlines for the wrong reasons.
- Remind your child that there is a chance some things can pop up that aren’t suitable for their viewing. Tell them to always tell you so you can sort out the issue together.
- Approach with caution and keep your wits about you.
Written by Emma Hayes staff writer at FFHQ.