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Should children be allowed to upload videos of themselves to YouTube

(7 Posts)
LoveAnchor Mon 03-Aug-15 11:35:59

Looking for advice on how to handle this.

DS (10) has been nagging to upload videos to YouTube for a long time. I have eventually agreed to him uploading two silly videos that feature his toys/objects but not himself. He has been warned to never upload videos with his face on. Both kids enjoy making videos and have plenty of videos where they act as reporters or actors, but these are staying on their devices.

Yesterday I have found about 8 videos on YouTube, with DS, which are posted publicly. Nothing inherently bad in terms of content, he is not using his real name, and does not record any in-your-face identifiable information. My objections are that he has done specifically what I asked him not to do behind my back, and I also object to our house/rooms being broadcasted in this way. My first reaction: I deleted the videos from YouTube, and changed the password, so DS has no access to his email or YouTube until we settle the matter. I have also discovered he created a Skype account without my knowledge/consent, and this is now blocked too. I said I am disappointed that he has done this and that we need to have a serious conversation about it. He is banned from internet until this conversation takes place and we agree a way forward.

So, today I'm canvassing views on what is the 'recommended' approach. Apparently, his close friend has a YouTube channel with 40+ silly videos of himself, so DS was no doubt influenced by this, and thinks that this is cool.

My thoughts so far:

1) Acknowledge good things:
- not using real name;
- not posting any identifiable info;

2) Ask about the reasons/goals, is it:
- gain popularity;
- communicate with friends;
- produce quality videos;
- something else?

3) Things that need to change:
- videos should only be uploaded with prior parental permission;
- videos should be made private in the first instance, but could be made public at a later stage, if they are good-quality, appropriate and will contribute towards building a positive image of DS in the future;
- it's better when videos have a purpose (reviews of books, toys etc have a purpose of informing other people, for example; silly videos don't);
- videos should not feature any friends or other people without their prior consent (parents' consent in case of a child).

4) Should there be a punishment for breaking the existing rule in the first place? I'm currently thinking about only restricting internet access to 1hr a day under close supervision - i.e. me being in the same room for the whole hour, and probably doing something fun together, as we are at it, like editing videos, teaching DS digital design, how to write a blog, etc. Then keep his internet use restricted until I can tell that he is more responsible. Is this harsh?

Also, am I overthinking it?


LoveAnchor Mon 03-Aug-15 13:08:40


EdgarAllenPoe Mon 03-Aug-15 14:28:18

You seem to be handling it well to me.

The one thing I'd add is making sure he understands the reason why you are against this. Internet security, both his own and your family and home, other people's ulterior motives online, the fact that once something has been put on the net, you can never truly delete it - it's there forever. Some of this is quite heavy stuff. But if he needs to understand it.

chumbler Mon 03-Aug-15 14:30:06

sounds like you're being v reasonable to me. I think he should always use the internet in a room with you present but not necessarily with you using it with him, also I would personally see no harm in silly videos so long as they're private and he only has friends that he actually like and knows that can access the video. I think making him do something educational is missing the point that he obviously uses the internet to have fun

otherwise I think you've got it spot on!

odyssey2001 Mon 03-Aug-15 15:42:06

You sound like you have handled it very well so far.

You need to educate him as to why he has to be safe online. That should be the consequence of his actions. CEOP is a great website for teaching children about internet safety. This will take up his valuable time and stop him from doing something he wants to do. I'm not sure a prolonged punishment like you have suggested is either necessary or wise.

I would respond by restricting what he can do on YouTube / Skype etc until you have worked your way through some e-Safety sessions. I would, however, allow him access again once you lift the restrictions, otherwise he will try to do it ask over again, but in secret.

TwinTum Mon 03-Aug-15 16:43:28

I also think you have handled it well. In terms of your conversation with him, I agree the other angle to it should be education, i.e. explaining why you don't want him to do this. With my DC, what seems to be working so far (although I accept that this may stop working as they get older) is as follows:

1. setting out clearly what the rules are, and making sure they are not too OTT and that they on board with them e.g. when they first got a device I set a limit of an hour a day (after homework). They were ok with this for week days but made a case for longer at weekends, so we now have no specific time limit for weekends so long as it does not impact on others or on any plans and subject to not going over the top (they have to stop when told).
2. having a specific rationale for each rule and explaining it to them (this is part of helping them understand good internet safety).
3. acknowledging that the rules will need to change over time, eg they are about to upgrade from ipods to phones which means we need more rules about use of social media and internet as it is harder for us to keep an eye, but on the other hand they deserve more privacy now they are older and have proved that they are reasonably sensible.
4. consequences linked to the "offence" (as you are doing).

They sign up to a set of rules on IT usage at school so also get the idea of having rules outside school too.

I also try hard to give the impression that I am much more computer savvy than I really am to put them off trying to outsmart the rules!

LoveAnchor Mon 03-Aug-15 19:01:14

Some great comments and advice here. Thank you.

Love the idea about asking DS to do his homework, so to speak, on internet security. That's what I will go with in terms of a punishment... 30mins (max) online safety material to be learned and discussed, every day, for a week. Nice.

Other comments also very helpful, but punishment was something I really struggled with. I don't want to leave an impression that this was a minor incident, but equally I agree with odyssey2001 that prolonged punishment damages the relationship more than it fixes the issue.

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