Monday Minute (slightly late thanks to school “break”): Why James Keeps Finding Bad Stuff On Youtube
So after James lost YouTube from his ipod for the 5th time this month, we’ve decided to just take the option off of the darn thing for now. Why didn’t you do that sooner, you might be thinking. Well for one, James LOVES YouTube. But I also think YouTube is incredibly valuable in some ways. We often look up things we’re reading about on YouTube – horse races, lego building, dance shows, etc. The kids really respond to seeing what we’ve been learning about at home live, as well as watching other children in action (dancing, sports, gymnastics).
We’ve put the parental controls as high as they go, but YouTube is no match for James’s eccentric search terms. Remember Kili the parrot? The most recent offense? Belly buttons. I walked in on him watching “how to care for your belly button ring,” one of a long list of mildly sketchy video options gleaned from the search term. There was also some slightly more skeevy material labeled “belly button request” that he thankfully had passed over.
In direct contrast to the strict control we are taking over YouTube, we’ve started to leave James alone at home for very brief periods here and there, mainly when we’re taking the kids to dance class 2 blocks away and it’s only for an hour. James has gone from feeling anxious about the concept of “home alone” as recently as last year to now asking if he can stay home all the time, ever since he realized that staying home really means he can play Wii uninterrupted.
So for now, YouTube is back to “in view of parents only,” meaning not on his ipod. But it doesn’t mean James has forgotten about it. At all. Ever.
James: So if I sleep good tonight, what can I get?
Me: Want egg tacos again?
James: How about Wii you?
Me: Wii you? What’s that?
James: Well, WiiU is similar, but better than my Wii. If I sleep good and wake up with a smile on my face can I have one?
Me: No, that sounds more like a birthday or Christmas gift you can work on earning.
James: Darn. Okay, I’ll have egg tacos.
Me: If you’re good.
James: 3 of them.
Me: Fine, get in the shower though, I have to get your sister to dance class soon. Do you want to come or stay?
James: I’ll just stay here. When I’m home alone what can I do?
Me: What would you like to do?
James: Play the WiiU.
Me: Well you don’t have one of those.
James (very softly from the shower): Or YouTube.
Me (pretending not to hear him): Your Wii downstairs works perfectly fine.
Me: What about it?
James: Can I watch it?
Me: Maybe when we get home later, and only appropriate videos.
James: Like what?
Me: What about paper airplane videos like we made?
Me: Or tennis videos?
Me: horse races? I don’t know, what appropriate videos do you want to watch?
James: How about boxing?
Me: NO. Completely not allowed. Boxing is way too violent.
James: How about onboxing?
Me: I don’t even know what that is but no types of boxing whatsoever.
James: Not the sport, I mean un-boxing.
Me: What in the world is unboxing?
James: You know, like when you unbox something?
Me: On YouTube? Seriously? Unboxing is a video?
Me: What do people do?
James: You know, like open a box. They unbox things.
Me: Like what?
James: You know, like a WiiU.
And we’re full circle again.