Yes you read that right. We. Ditched. YouTube Kids. Even writing it has me wondering if the YouTube police are going to come knocking at our door. It’s been about a year since our last foray with YouTube Kids and quitting it was one of the best decisions I forced upon my family. There were tantrum and tears from everyone. My husband thought I was nuts for even suggesting it. But the iPads lost their obsessive pull the SECOND it was gone.
Why We Quit YouTube Kids
We’re all familiar with the old favourites. Daddy Finger. Kinder Egg opening. Grown adults playing with Trolls. Kids in bathtubs full of Orbeez. But there’s also the more sinister side like the pseudo Peppa Pig and Mickey Mouse videos that certainly are not child friendly. I got to a point where I wasn’t comfortable that I couldn’t trust the YouTube Kids filter to stop my kids seeing things they shouldn’t.
Then there was the issue of them wanting every toy that they saw the YouTube Kids child stars playing with. There’s a whole host of children (and families) who make money from being YouTube stars. These kids have every toy you can imagine and it made my kids feel like they were entitled to have the same. Only they aren’t YouTube Kids stars and my pockets are not lined with gold. Trips to Target became a nightmare. They wanted all the toys they had seen on YouTube Kids and in all honesty, I didn’t like the brattiness that they began to display.
We Still Have Tech Time (With Rules)
I have written a few times about my youngest whirlwind having autism. His autism means we are no stranger to iPads. Tech time features heavily in our at home time. I do not limit it AT ALL and I know that statement will strike horror into some people reading this. But here is my only rule surrounding the iPads. We only allow games which have some kind of learning basis behind them. If the boys want a new game they have to come and ask because downloading of games is restricted. Every few months we go through the content together and I ask the boys to choose a few to delete so we don’t stagnate. We also got the boys Osmo for Christmas and we have loved the interactive learning element of it. My 5 year old in particular is really taken by the numbers game.
The Positive Effects We’ve Seen
My boys are much easier to be around without YouTube Kids in our life and for that, I am happy. They are kinder, more polite, and less entitled. For our family, the iPad is more about learning now which eases my Mum Guilt of giving it to them (because I just need some quiet sometimes…). Oh, and trips to Target are so much easier now (yay me!!).
Here’s the big thing though. I am not judging anyone for having YouTube Kids on their devices. You do YOU. I made a choice for my family, but this won’t be right for everyone’s family and that’s ok. We have all got to do what keeps us sane right?!