My Child is Addicted to YouTube
Have you noticed that your children ages 5-8 have some sort of an addiction to YouTube?
Anymore most children have their own tablet or at least have access to a computer with internet access. I have learned that many children ages 5-8 get on YouTube and watch videos of people playing games (i.e. Minecraft and Mario), or even watch videos of people playing with Barbies, action heroes, or stuffed animals. Is this appropriate behavior for children? How can you monitor what it is that they have watched without hovering over their shoulders? How do you know if they are commenting on these videos?
I have personal experience with this. My 6 year old daughter started doing this at the age of 4. It is not just her I have learned, but my friends and family with children around her age do the same! It drives me crazy! I find it to be very annoying, yet it is something she enjoys doing. What is the differences between watching these videos and watching Sponge Bob or Sam & Kat?
It started with her watching videos of people playing Mario, all sorts of Mario. She just randomly got this obsession with Mario, I have no idea where it came from. Then came the videos of watching other children playing with Mario figurines or stuffed animals. It just seemed crazy to me that she would find this interesting. I asked her why she watched these things, her response would be, “So I can learn how to play better.” There were a lot of times that while she was watching them play the video game I would make her mute the sound, they would not always use the best language. Also mind you she would never actually want to play the game on her Wii.
While she would be at my parents house, she would watch people playing with Barbies online with my younger sister (they are not even 2 years apart in age). I would ask them why are you watching this, they would say, “because it is fun and funny to watch.” I would then ask why do they not just go upstairs and play barbies with one another, their response to this would be, “because we do not have as much fun as what they do on here, we don’t really know how to play Barbies.” What the heck?! Are our children losing their imagination?!
Now there is her complete addiction to Minecraft. If she is not playing the game she is on YouTube watching videos of people playing it. Although this time she is watching it she is learning different things she can do on this game, she get ideas of things to build in her own world on the game. She learns what things are, what they can do, and what else they can make. So this time around she is actually getting use from watching these videos.
Yet that is not all. She somehow has learned how to subscribe to and comment on these videos. So this is where the good parts on YouTube come into factor. On the laptop and her tablet she is logged onto my YouTube and Google accounts. This helps me to view all things she has done. I can see what videos she has watched by looking at the history, I can see what videos she has commented on by it posting to my Google+ account. I like how this can help me to keep track of what it is that she has done on there.
I have told her that we do not want her to comment on these videos, they are normally things like “can I jon please (supposed to be join and she uses a lot of spaces)” “hi i am 6” “yoo are cool”, remember she is 6 so that explains the spelling, not too bad for sounding out the words and typing them. Her father and I both had told her not to write comments, she had no idea that we could see what she typed. Just the other day I saw a new post on my Google+ of a comment that she made, we approached her and she was shocked we knew (and of course apologetic). All we said is that we are your parents and we know all.
Mind you not all the videos she watches on YouTube are of people playing video games. She also watches video like movie clips on the games she likes (mainly Minecraft), I’ll share one with you on here for you to have an idea on what I am talking about. She also loves to watch music videos and sing along with them on there too.
We limit her to the amount of time she is allowed to be on YouTube videos, but we are not going to restrict her from it. In our opinion it is the same thing as if she was watching tv. I am just glad there are these ways to monitor what it is that she is doing on there. So that is my advice to you, have what tablet or computer your child uses logged onto your accounts so you too can keep track of this.
Hope this could help someone out there get ease of mind on what your children are doing on YouTube, or at least to know they are not the only ones. I thought it was crazy that my daughter had these addictions until i posted about it on Facebook and learned that the majority of my friends list with kids my daughters age were doing the same exact thing.
Does your child(ren) also have a similar obsession with YouTube videos?
Now please do not go and debate my parenting skills in the comments, but feel free to share your own personal stories and opinions.
We do not condone her always playing video games and watching videos or tv. We also make sure she enjoys many other things and has hobbies. We play card games with her a lot, as well as have her play with her actual toys. Like what we all had to do growing up. Her only sibling is currently only a couple of months old, and since we have moved within this last year and the location on which we live she does not have friends she can just go outside and play with. Yet we do encourage her to play outdoors too; with sidewalk chalk, her bike, and she loves to go on fourwheeler rides! Also she does exceptionally well in school, her studies come first after all. We have her do math and spelling every day. We also read with her a lot, and have her read to her baby brother. Speaking of reading, she actually does quite a bit of it while playing Minecraft (which has surprised me).
© 2014 Elizabeth