It’s bewildering! Your kid’s stubbornness to watch videos on your mobile/tablet. However, it’s not just your child alone, but more than half of his peers! Considering the benefits of audio-visual learning, you wouldn’t want to bring your child up in complete isolation with technology either. This means that the only safe passage is a careful selection of the videos you expose your child to. Of the rating systems currently available, none monitor videos for kids. This throws the onus on the parents to review and decide.
A thorough research and interactions with a couple of experts in the field have helped us lay out a few guidelines for you that’ll help make your search for quality content simple on your gadgets. While there’s a broad array of topics listed as malapropos for kids’ developing brains, videos with the following are COMPLETE NO for kids of all age groups:
Kids Videos with Inapt Language and Visuals
- Violent actions: This can be small incidents like being pushy on the playground to more intense situations like car accidents and shootouts. Children tend to mimic the behaviour and may become more aggressive after watching violent content.
- Addictive or illegal substances: That includes smoking.
- Profanity and intense language: From “Oh my God” and “What the heck” to more obscene word choice.
- Romantic and intimate relationships: Children don’t start understanding romantic relationships and some simple affectionate actions like kissing and holding hands until the 5-7 age range. At 8 and 9, children may become interested in learning more. Common Sense Media recommends avoiding content that shows highly intimate behavior.
- Death/Funeral scenes: The concept of life and death is anyway a little difficult for kids to understand. Scenes that depict someone dying irrationally say due to murder, theft or accident can cast a negative impact on kids. Moreover, people mourning someone’s death at a funeral might just be a little too depressing for the young mind.
- Rebellious Actions: Videos that show kids arguing for a toy, etc or breaking into closed parks, stores to play affect the attitude of the kids and encourage them to behave similarly.
- Scenes of torture: In many Disney movies, like Frozen and minions franchise, the positive characters have been shown taking joy from seeing the villain suffer. Scenes like these give a wrong message to kids.
As you glance through these points, you may feel that no content making company that targets kids would include scenes like these but hey, be cautious as many videos start fine but eventually start showcasing disturbing content. And reported cases include not random creators but popular educators like Peppa Pig.
Kids Videos with Inappropriate Social Interactions
Dr. Pooja Dewan, A Child Psychologist says “Young kids especially between the age group of 3-8 years, tend to mimic what they observe. Kids learn by watching people interact in different environments.”
In such a case, watching videos that show characters bullying, demanding things from others, not sharing, etc tend to influence kids in a negative direction. According to Common Sense Media it’s not until age 7 that children start to be able to properly understand a more complex narrative involving negative interaction and the consequences of it.
It’s therefore, best to stick with kids videos that simply demonstrate the behaviour you want your child to use in social situations like politely raising a hand while waiting to speak in the classroom or being patient and waiting in line to use the restroom.
Kids Videos with Child Celebrities
These videos include children of similar age doing a normal activity like playing or interacting with family members or the environment around them. However, these include some extravagant elements like a huge house or a big playroom or even a line of staff taking care of the celebrity babies. Besides, they often do more than normal on videos so as to get maximum likes and comments. When other kids watch these videos, they may start comparing themselves to them and even demand to have a youtube channel or Instagram page. According to Common Sense Media, children start putting friends in categories of best friends, classmates, etc. at about the age of 8-9. In such cases, they may start assessing their own worth or start considering their friends too lowly in comparison to the kid in the fancy videos.
For kids who are in these videos, their parents have more reasons to be concerned. What impact will YouTube stardom have on children as they start to become adults? How will they feel about it? And how will it affect their public and professional lives? In certain cases, the line might be crossed and this lucrative business might come to be called child exploitation. In May 2017, the parents of the DaddyOFive YouTube channel lost custody of their children after public outcry over the treatment of children in their videos.
Unboxing Videos for Kids
Unboxing videos include a person unwrapping a new toy, simultaneously describing each detail of it and then even playing with it to describe the experience. They’re sort of toy review videos. These videos do not offer anything valuable for the kids. Besides, kids do not even understand the advertising angle hidden in these videos.
That noted, these videos are still gaining a lot of popularity as some creators press that they mesmerise kids and give them a feeling as they’re opening a toy themsleves.
So, apart from being slightly consumer-oriented, they’re not educational at all. They, however, do not have any major negative influence as well. Instead of completely barring unboxing videos, best is to limit watching these and add more educational and informative videos in the list.
Kids Videos That Feature Toy Play
These also branch out from unboxing videos and often are the latter part of them featuring a pair of hands playing with the toy. While these videos do not necessarily carry the consumerism concern, they definitely do not thrill the kid. These, in fact, reflect passive playing where the kid only watched someone else play without any personal interaction. Parenting advocates recommend limiting the amount of passive play and favouring other, more active (and more valuable) types of play.
What Kids Videos Should My Child Watch Then?
Undeniably, it’s hard to find videos that do not have any of these but experts suggest that we should find high-quality videos from trusted sources and expose our kids to them only after watching them thoroughly ourselves. It is important to protect kids from switching to random suggested videos on youtube kids that do more harm than anything as they add zero value and take away your kid’s screen time.
For more insight into what sort of videos are best for your kids, read Best Videos for Kids.