YouTube, a video-sharing site, allows its users to create, share, and upload videos. However, it is also being used as a platform for malicious harassment.

YouTube has come a long way from being a host for home-made videos from its users. Today, it is a one-stop-shop for learning and entertainment. In fact, YouTube is the second most popular social media site next to Facebook. Around 400 minutes of videos are also uploaded to YouTube every minute. Children are also visiting it because it hosts a variety of online learning videos.  YouTube is fun and it keeps us all entertained and as parents, we need to discuss these mini-movies and help them develop critical judgment. Be sure your child knows not to go beyond their limits by following a guide to youtube.

Although it offers kid-friendly channels such as Baby Einstein and Simple Kids Crafts, it also has channels with harmful content. Since children love to explore videos, they might be exposed to these types of risks and become victims of cyber harassment.

Protecting your child’s innocence is important when it comes to the Internet.

Why children use YouTube?

Children love using YouTube because it hosts fun and entertaining videos. It has the type of content kids crave, based on their current attention spans. In a brand study conducted by Smarty Pants: YouTube earned the love of kids and beat popular brands such as Disney and Oreo. The two or three-minute videos on YouTube is enough for them to be entertained. These snack-sized videos are perfect for your kids while traveling.

What are the risks when using YouTube?

Just like any other social networking site, has its own set of risks. The site requires its users to be at least 13 years old before creating an account or channel. Since most kids fall prey to over-sharing information online, people with malicious intent can contact them via private messaging. These people can leave rude comments on the videos posted by your child. They can also deliberately create content to harass your child. Impersonation and hate speeches are also some of the risks when using this social media video app.

How should parents talk to their children about YouTube?

Since our children are avid YouTube users/subscribers, here is our parent’s guide to YouTube:

  1. Encourage your child to watch YouTube channels with you. This is to help you understand why they are following these channels.
  2. If your child does not want to watch these channels with you, get the channel’s name or link. Watch the channel by yourself to get the feel of the channel’s content.
  3. Research about the channel’s creator to learn more about him or her. Use Google to learn more about his or her web presence. Your child’s favorite YouTube personality might be a good influence to other children too.
  4. Check and read the comments posted on the channel. This will give you an idea on the channel’s demographic. The comments will also show you if the said channel is really safe for your child.
  5. YouTube also released a kid-centric mobile app called YouTube Kids. It is designed for your child’s curious mind and it is filled with child-friendly videos for the whole family to enjoy.
  6. If your child falls victim to cyberbullying or any form of online harassment, you can change his or her channel’s Privacy and Safety settings. You may also consider MomSecure’s premium cyber security services. Our cyber agents can help configure your child’s device to filter social media apps such as YouTube. Filing a report on YouTube is also recommended.

YouTube has become an alternative to traditional children’s TV. Talk to your children about their experiences on YouTube and encourage them to share these with you. Communication is key when raising a digital native.

Related article: A Parent’s Guide to Social Media