Your child might be interested in a YouTube channel as they have spent a lot of time watching them. They are not all trying to be professional vloggers. The platform is accessible to anyone, as long as they don’t fall below the YouTube channel minimum age which is currently 13. If you decide that they can have one before this you will need to open it in your name. Having a YouTube channel can be very positive for many reasons. Learning to use technology and sharing an interest. But think, would you send your child to the park on their own and start talking to strangers? If you decide it is right for your child to have a channel below we look at some structures you might want to start with.
3 Things to Consider Before Allowing Children to Create a YouTube Channel
The decision to let your child have a YouTube channel is a personal one. However, before making the decision, consider the following.
- Are they old and mature enough? Before creating a YouTube account for your child, you need to consider their age and maturity. YouTube doesn’t allow children under the age of 13 to have an account. All children between ages 13 and 17 are only allowed to open accounts with parental permission. YouTube will terminate an account if they find out that the age you entered during the account creation was wrong. So the child has to be up to 13. Beyond that, they also need to be mature enough to handle themself online. However, my younger daughter has access to a channel where she has uploaded one video. We did it together and played with the technology. However, it does not have her face on it, and she is not identifiable.
- Why do they want it? Understanding why your child wants a YouTube account can give you a peek into their motivation. Does the child want to express themself? Do they want to teach or learn video editing skills? Do they want to experiment creatively? Are they trying to pursue fame? The child’s answers will give you an idea of how rooted their interest is and whether having an account is positive. A mentee of mine made a channel to talk about aspects of engineering that they were interested in. This formed the cornerstone of evidence for their application to university.
- What kind of videos do they want to create? Are they trying to replicate a 20-year-old woman dancing provocatively in swimsuits? Or do they have a passion for bridges that they want to explore? It’s crucial to consider what kind of videos your child wants to create on their YouTube account. Ask them directly. You don’t want to be taken aback the first time they produce a video. It may seem a while off but it is important that your child has a clean social media profile. Children can make so many kinds of videos on YouTube, including art, music, science, maths, history, and reading videos.
Tips to Help Your Child Start and Run Their YouTube Channel
After all the consideration, your child would need help if you do decide to let them have a YouTube channel. Below are ways you can help.
- Know the rules. YouTube has a lot of rules that guide the usage of the platform. For example, creators must mark their channels as “Made for kids” to produce content for children. YouTube also frowns on overly commercial and promotional content, such as focusing on product packaging or encouraging children to spend money. There are also quality principles and monetization policies creators must adhere to. Breaking any rules on YouTube can result in the termination of an account. It wouldn’t matter whether you were aware at the time of breaking the rules.
- Talk to them about fame. Your child can aspire to acquire YouTube fame without knowing it. They may have seen other children become famous by making YouTube videos and making money from them. But what the child may not know is that becoming YouTube famous is the exception and not the rule. Simply, most people who create YouTube videos don’t become famous. You need to sit down with your child and explain this to them. Your child needs to enjoy making those videos without the expectation of fame.
- Keep videos private at first. At the onset, your child may not know what works and what doesn’t. There’s a lot involved in making good YouTube videos, including editing, voice, lighting, background, and so on. It would take some time to settle into a specific process. For that reason, let the child keep their videos private at first and then share them with friends and family for feedback.
- Optimize content. When you finally go public, helping your child optimize their videos is vital to get noticed on YouTube. The first rule of getting noticed is to produce family-friendly quality content. Other criteria include great thumbnails, keyword-rich titles, good descriptions, and video meta tags. These are key marketing skills relevant to many future jobs and would therefore be a positive addition to any CV.
- Encourage Consistency. Consistency is key to growing any YouTube channel. YouTube generates revenue by selling ads on videos, so they push consistent channels higher up the search. So by being consistent, your child positions their channel on YouTube to promote it to a broader audience. This will help realize the benefits of delayed gratification.
- Monitor or turn off comments. A YouTube comment section can be a cesspit of cyberbullying and harassment. To combat this, YouTube decided to turn off certain features on content featuring minors back in 2019, including comments. But still, a small number of creators have their comment section enabled. If your child falls within this category, you may need to decide whether you want to monitor the comment section or turn it off entirely.
- Continue to show support. Continue to support your child long after settling into it and producing videos steadily. Check with them to make sure they’re enjoying the endeavor. It’s normal for someone to find out that they don’t really enjoy doing something they thought they’d enjoy. Your child needs to know that they are free to talk to you about stuff like that. That it’s okay to have a change of heart.
Final Thoughts on Should Your Child Have a YouTube Channel
By all means, your child should have a YouTube channel. It is a great way for them to learn technology, perseverance, and develop an interest. However, you would not let them go to the park on their own and tell strangers everything about themselves wearing a swimsuit. So think of a YouTube channel in the same way. Forgetting the age rules it is a way to invite strangers into their world, and there are far more sinister people on the web than in most parks. With the right precautions talked about above it can be a very positive experience.