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Monday Minute (slightly late thanks to school “break”): Why James Keeps Finding Bad Stuff On Youtube

February 20, 2013 1 comment

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.

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