Ensure critical thinking and positive influence on YouTube

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How can I ensure that my child is critical about what they see online and is positively influenced by influencers they follow?

There are so many different things that children can watch on YouTube: videos made for especially for children; videos made by other children like them; educational videos, instructional gaming videos and so much more.  But one thing is certain, children today are more and more engrossed with their favourite YouTubers and indeed, they even aspire to become YouTubers themselves.

Parents and caregivers should remember that the YouTube platform is for users 13+ and YouTube Kids for the under 13s.  No matter the platform that your child uses, parents and caregivers, can ensure that children develop critical thinking when choosing what videos to watch and what influencers to follow.

Guidelines for watching videos

  • Make sure that you set the rules for watching videos and that your child is in agreement
  • Consider setting up a family account
  • Turn on safety mode
  • For younger children create playlists and don’t forget to watch the video in its entirety before adding it to your playlist
  • Watch the videos with your child and scroll through the comments as well; there may be some great teaching opportunities about empathy and resilience
  • Subscribe to YouTube channels so your child can watch her favourites but remember that YouTube will still offer “recommended videos” unless you turn it off
  • Teach your child to respect the over 18-age limit
  • Remind your child to avoid clicking on ads, no matter how enticing
  • If you’re unsure what your child is watching, you can check the watch history
  • Teach your child how to block and report videos
  • If your child raves about a vlogger or YouTube influencer, do your research and check them out. You may be pleasantly surprised that the vlogger is a great role model.

If time permits try to watch those viral videos and the latest YouTube influencers with your child to spark a conversation about your child’s online world.  You’ll be glad that you did.

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