Are you looking for a way to bond with your child? Does your child pay more attention to the next YouTube video coming out than the words coming out of your mouth? Instead of shrugging off YouTube as dumb cat videos, or worrying about the dangers, try engaging with your child about the YouTube they watch.
Tips on Bonding Using YouTube
Here are some of our best tips:
- Encourage your child to share their favorite videos with the rest of the family or watch them together. Many popular streaming devices, such as the Roku, Apple TV, or Amazon fire stick, have YouTube apps to watch on the big screen.
- Get your own YouTube account. While this might seem like a strange way to bond with your child it can really help you relate to their world.
- If you have a Google or Gmail account, you already have a YouTube account, and your icon should be in the upper-right corner. With billions of videos on YouTube, there is bound to be something for everyone. All of the popular TV networks also have YouTube channels. Consequently, watching YouTube videos yourself will help you better understand why your child is fascinated with the site.
- Familiarize yourself with your child’s favorite You tuber’s release schedule and respect their time to watch the new episodes. Most active YouTuber’s stick to a release schedule, posting videos once or multiple times a week simultaneously. Your child will likely want to watch the new video right away. So schedule to set the time aside.
- Invest some time in an educational YouTube Channel. When you ask to share a cool YouTube video with your child, they will be much more interested in watching. Many popular YouTube channels have made educational content interesting in the same style as your child’s favorite YouTubers. For example, some family-friendly educational and entertaining channels include SciShow, Crash Course, Mental Floss, TED-ed, The Art Assignment, Numberphile, and Khan Academy.
- Set the homepage of your child’s YouTube channel to include “Recent Activity,” and do the same with yours. This way, you can easily see the videos your child has been watching, liking, and commenting on. To do this, have your child go to their channel homepage. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the button “Add a section.” There, you can add a section for “liked videos” and “recent activity.” This will create a sense of accountability and make it more like a social network than parental control.
- Have no idea how YouTube works? There is no need to be in the dark. If your child watches even a little bit of YouTube, they probably know how to navigate the site expertly. Have them show you things like how to subscribe to a channel, like or comment on a video, or find new and interesting videos. Give them a chance to show off their knowledge and expertise.
- Consider making a YouTube con (short for a conference) a part of your family vacation. Many hard-core YouTube fans dream of attending VidCon, Playlist Live, MineCon, StreamCon, Buffer Festival, or BeautyCon and meeting famous YouTubers. Cons also give kids a chance to meet other kids as passionate about YouTube and network. VidCon is held in Anaheim, CA, and Playlist are often in Orlando, FL (Disney, anyone?). It is easy to create a family vacation with many cons around the U.S. each year.
Now Bond with Your Child About Videos They Make
Now that you have bonded with your child over what they watch it may be time to bond with them over what they can create. Stay tuned for the next part of this series. When we talk about how to get involved in your child’s YouTube channel. Big thanks to Help! My Kid Wants to be a YouTuber by Michael Buckley and Jesse Malhorta.