For the last few months, my 8-year-old son has been begging me to let him has his own YouTube Channel and a few weeks ago I finally agreed. But not because he nagged me, not because I wanted him to get famous and become a YouTube sensation, but rather I saw it as an opportunity to teach him some valuable lessons about storytelling, the internet and how shallow social media can be.
Now I’m going to be upfront here, my son doesn’t have his very own YouTube Channel that he can access and add videos to anytime he wants. Instead, I created a Youtube channel under my account which I manage for him. This means that I can totally control his social media experience and give him a taste of social media without exposing him to all of the negative stuff. I really don’t think it’s a good idea to give an 8 year old unlimited access to any social media. YouTube can be a pretty negative place, especally in the comments section. It’s also super easy for them to view inappropriate content and to be honest I don’t even think that you should let your kids surf Youtube unsupervised.
Disadvantages of letting your kids have their own account
- They might upload content they shouldn’t.
- You’ll create kids obsessed with chasing likes and subscribers.
- Exposing them to negative comments from other users.
- Potential of exposing them to online predators and all the nasty things that can happen to unsupervised kids online.
Advantages of letting your kids have their own account
- Create an opportunity to teach them about film making and story telling.
- By teaching your kids how to make films they will think more critically about media and advertising.
- Give them a taste of social media and the internet without exposing them to any of the negatives.
- Have a great excuse to do fun activities with them.
- Create amazing video memories with them that will last a life time.
Introducing… Casey’s Outdoor Adventures
So Casey’s Outdoor Adventures was born and it was totally his idea. He wanted to have adventures, explore nature and make videos about it to share with other people. In the first episode, which we filmed at my wife’s parents farm feature Dogs, Cows, Horses, Cane Toads and dead Snakes and Turtles. The kids are so proud of the videos we’ve created together and will show anyone who’ll watch. Check out the 1st episode below.
Advice for creating your child own YouTube Channel
- Make your child's account a sub account of your account so that you can control it and modify it. The last thing you want is to have your kids uploading videos they shouldn't or be exposed to negative user comments.
- When you create a channel, give it a theme make it about something. It could be about skate boarding, soccer or outdoor adventures like Casey's channel.
- Don't log into the account on your kids device, other wise they'll work out how to get into the account.
- Don't share anything overly personal, like your address or where your kids go to school.
- Make sure that you manage your child's expectations on likes. They need to learn that just because you put a video on YouTube doesn't meant that you'll get 1000's of likes. In fact in most cases they'll only get a few.
- Get your kids to help in the production process and treat this as a learning experience, not a chance to get famous.