My 7 Year Old is Addicted to Youtube

It really started innocently enough… “Here, baby.  Quietly watch this video while mommy answers some questions for the doctor.”  Babies go to the doctor a lot.  Older siblings really don’t enjoy these trips.  There comes a point where you will do nearly anything to quiet the squirmy, anxiously little angels while you try to have a half way intelligent – or at least half awake (newborns don’t have great sleep schedules) – conversation with your pediatrician.  It’s usually somewhere between the car and the reception area.

In my case, ‘nearly anything’ meant finding The Wiggles or some equally annoying kiddie show on my iPhone and handing over that precious piece of metal and glass to an untrustworthy 3 year old.  I owe the life of my phone to Otterbox.

Watching videos on my iPhone became a fairly regular thing.  It was a quick way to get a moments peace and she really seemed to like it.  Fast forward about a bit – somewhere circa 2011… Our library had this program called Kidoz on their computers (basically a safe web browsing environment for kids) and after discovering that we could buy a personal license for the program, we added it to one of the laptops at home.  It allowed her to watch videos, play games and do activities without needing constant help.  She thought it was awesome.  She would watch Betty Crocker videos on how to decorate cakes, science experiments in action and videos of her favorite shows.  It was awesome!

After I got my iPad in 2012, I started letting her watch videos via the YouTube app.  She’d tell me what she wanted to watch, I’d search it and she’d be content for a few videos.  She was also learning to read/spell at that time, so we’d work through what words she needed to search for, how to spell them, etc.  One day, she wanted to search for American Girl videos.  We did… and that’s when the real obsession started.

She found many, many, MANY videos of house tours, crafts, tutorials and the like – all focused on American Girl and similar dolls.  She’d sit up my iPad, find a project, collect her supplies and craft right along with the video.  It was really cute to see her little mind working, copying what she saw on the videos, and working her way through how to substitute for the supplies she was missing.  Instead of squishing her creativity by limiting her screen time, I embraced it.

Now she asks to make her own videos and asks me to post them on YouTube (which, obviously I do).  I give her no direction, no prompting – this is all her.  Last night she asked to make a new video (2 actually) and asked me to post them for her.  She’s even asking for her own video camera (the jury is still out on that).

Is she addicted to YouTube?  Maybe.  Probably.  Will she move on to something else?  I’m sure.  Soon enough.  Am I a bad parent for contributing to her YouTube interest?  I don’t think so.  (And, for the record, I do monitor what she’s watching – so, definitely nothing inappropriate.)

What do you think about YouTube?  Appropriate for kids to make/post videos or not?  What about me letting my 7 year old cruise YouTube?

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10 Responses to My 7 Year Old is Addicted to Youtube

  1. Laura V says:

    I think in a way Youtube can be used as a tool to learn things and interact with amazing people. Making videos builds confidence, so yes it may be used as a great tool. Of course that with everything else, it requires great responsibility and there will always be bullies, but as long as you ignore the bad and be able to understand that it should not affect you, everything is good! Great job!

  2. Danielle says:

    I love watching YT videos too – especially the beauty ones! There is just something so captivating about them.

  3. My 8 year old son is addicted to Minecraft and YouTube. He is playing Minecraft on one machine and watching YT for idea videos on another machine. It gets wacky!

  4. Carly says:

    Haaaaaaa! I feel like this will happen to us too!

  5. Jennifer S. says:

    There are definitely worse things she could be addicted too! I think if monitored, youtube can do more good than anything else 🙂

  6. katherine says:

    My daughter is 6 and makes videos all the time

  7. Paige says:

    Aw I love that she does crafts along with youtube videos! Reminds me of me! haha

  8. My niece loves watching YouTube videos, she’s always telling my sister to let her watch my videos so she can learn to do her makeup like Aunt Cassie lol.

  9. Dana says:

    My son is 6. Last year (preschool) he had a really hard time socializing with other kids and never wanted to go to school. Well this year (kindergarten) he went for a week and would cry every single day that he didn’t wanna go back! The counselor and I decided I should take him out(he was 5 at the time) because technically he didn’t have to be in kindergarten until he was 6, with the exception that I still work with him. I worked with him everyday and then he started getting into YouTube videos, now that’s all he wants to do! He watches constantly, his sleep schedule is all messed up and he has been having accidents in his pants! He doesn’t even want to leave the house! He will be starting school after this summer and I am terrified that his youtube addiction is out of control. I plan to start trying to get him out of this habit! Does anyone have any tips? I would greatly appreciate it! And before I get any rude comment I just want to say his dad and I both work and that it’s gets hard sometimes! I never intended for this to happen! Thank u in advance!

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