So here I was babysitting for my 2½ year old grandson, Alex and I was in my glory. It was time to wind down for the night but Alex wanted to watch a movie. Mom said he seems to settle down before bed by watching something age appropriate on the Ipad or TV. A new stage, as reading books before bed was the last one! And hopefully that will come back. I know, TV’s, Ipads, especially before bed, pros and cons, brain development, etc. etc. However, each family has to do what works best for them.
Grandma wanted Alex to lie down in his bed so he would get drowsy and fall asleep while watching the said movie. We went upstairs, my phone in hand, thinking a soothing YouTube video would do the trick. As I’m scrolling through the site and Alex is pointing to what looks good to him, I click on something that looks like a video showing colors. And what do we see and hear?… Soothing music, and toilets with different colored poop appearing!!! You’ve got to be kidding! You’ve never seen a Grandma’s finger press the X so quickly! Seriously, this no only wasn’t funny, but certainly not a teaching tool in my opinion! And I hope Alex didn’t realize my horror. Redirecting toddlers is very easy, thank goodness.
There’s been a lot of press lately about YouTube Kids having inappropriate videos sneaking in. Paw Patrol characters in a strip club, monsters replacing cartoon characters, terrible violent videos! Google is aware of these videos and working hard to delete them. I talked about this in more detail on my radio show, Baby and Toddler Instructions. If you’re not familiar, please check it out: ITunes.
Here’s what I know for sure: I’ve seen many wonderful teaching videos, apps and movies available for all ages on YouTube as well as other sites. However, if you are going to allow your little ones to view these things, please do the following:
- Check them out first.
- Make sure they are age appropriate.
- Don’t give your little one free reign with your devices.
- Please put the parental lock on all your devices as well.
- And finally, my favorite piece of advice;
Sit down next to your little one and watch together. Talk about the characters, the colors, and the music. You will be amazed what toddlers share! And what a wonderful way to create memories that will last a lifetime.