So how do you turn ‘watching movies on youtube’ into an opportunity to teach your child something important.
Teachable moments should be your Number 1 strategy for sex education!
Learn more about what a teachable moment is.
Watch the video below.
[00:00:00] How do you turn your child watching YouTube videos into a teachable moment? Let’s find out.[Music].
[00:00:13] Hi, I’m Cath Hak from Sex Ed Rescue. Sex Ed Rescue is a channel where I can help you become more comfortable with talking to your kids about love, sex, and relationships.
Today’s video is all about your kids watching YouTube. I don’t know about you, but my nine-year-old son loves a YouTube channel named Family Fun Pack. In these videos, the kids visit theme parks, get toys, or do something that my son thinks is fantastic. But there are useful videos on YouTube.
[00:01:00] For example, we bought a secondhand fish tank and it had a fancy filter that we didn’t know how to work. So, we searched, ‘How to set up a filter,’ and it took us to YouTube where there were tons of useful videos. There is good stuff on there, but there is a problem. YouTube; it may be the most accessible video streaming site, but it is for adults. The other day I posted a video on my tween channel on, ‘How to roll your foreskin down.’ I found it interesting to look at the recommended videos down the side.
This isn’t a good example because I checked the recommended thinking there would be porn, but luckily there wasn’t. On the other hand, on my adult channel there are a lot of suggestive and sexually inappropriate videos down the side. Videos called, ‘How to do a blowjob,’ or thumbnails with suggestive imagery.
But this is a great opportunity to talk to your kids about how some of the videos they find won’t always be appropriate. It might not be porn, but there are videos with violence in them, or people doing crazy things. For example, challenges. Challenges are where one person does something silly, like the ice bucket challenge, and uploads it to YouTube. Then other people see it, do it, and upload it to YouTube, and so on.
[00:03:10] Sometimes people end up in hospital from more extreme challenges because they don’t think of the consequences. When lots of children do one thing, like flossing from Fortnite, they do show very occult-like behaviors. But YouTube does help kids become more socially acceptable, so they tend to like it.
Now, there’s two types of YouTube. There’s YouTube Kids which is the one my nine-year-old son uses. My son isn’t allowed to use normal YouTube because sometimes when you watch videos, inappropriate adds pop up. When I posted a sex education video, sex toy adds were coming up because YouTube thought that was appropriate. Advertisements can pop up in the middle of a video, at the bottom of the screen during the video, or at the end they can pop up at the bottom.
Also, when the video ends, a list of recommended videos will come up that you can choose from. It’s very easy to end up down a rabbit hole where you go from video to video on YouTube before ending up somewhere you didn’t expect to be. By doing this, kids can very easily end up on inappropriate videos.
[00:04:48] Be aware that even on YouTube Kids some stuff can slip through the censorship. What a lot of people are doing is having sex in Minecraft. What happens is that they go into little rooms in game and sext each other on video. Another thing people do is get a kid’s movie and add in a sexually explicit scene for a few seconds before continuing the movie. So, some people will slip pornography into kids’ movies and then upload it onto YouTube Kids. This can be a form of grooming where pedophiles are giving more sexual information to kids so they can abuse them.
Now, you can’t accidentally upload your content to YouTube Kids. I’m pretty sure you must mark your content as child friendly then YouTube will eventually put it onto the kids’ app. So, this grooming is on purpose. Now, my daughter is twelve-years-old, so she doesn’t use YouTube Kids anymore, she prefers to watch TV shows like Britain’s Got Talent instead. But, she’s still young so I must talk with her about the fact that she will see ads or videos and realize that it’s not actually what she thought it was going to be. If she does see stuff that makes her feel uncomfortable, I tell her that she needs to turn it off and come get me. She will find porn eventually.
[00:06:42] The other night when I was getting the kids ready for bed, my husband went onto his computer and opened it up. He only pressed a few buttons before a porn ad suddenly came up, and graphic porn as well. We looked back into the history thinking, ‘God what have the kids been looking at?’ and it wasn’t even the kids. My husband just clicked on a link that brought up that ad, so it’s very easy to find porn. But YouTube is an opportunity to talk to your kids about how they can find inappropriate stuff on there, even if it’s not the best information searching tool. Like, they might ask what stars are made of and I’ll say, ‘I’m not sure, how about we Google it’. We’ve got to be very careful with this stuff. I tell my kids to Google stuff all the time but as they’re getting older, I’m realizing that I’m teaching them to go find their own answers. But, what if they’re curious about breasts?
My son once searched up, ‘How to kiss girls.’ Afterwards he came over to me and asked, ‘Hey mum, have you been trying to work out how to kiss girls?’ And I told him no, then he asked, ‘But don’t you kiss boys and girls the same way?’ I asked him why, and he told me he searched it up, so my husband and I had to go through his history to check for porn. Luckily, there wasn’t any, but I had a conversation with my son about the fact that it’s okay for him to ask how to kiss girls but how I preferred if he came and asked me because if he searched that up he could find something he didn’t want to see.
[00:08:38] So, these are just things that we need to be aware of. Every month or so, my son will show me something on his iPad and I’ll go, ‘Cool! But, have you ever found something on the internet like porn?’ He normally asks what porn is even though we’ve talked about it so many times. But, I’ll go, ‘You know, videos of people who are almost naked, or even completely naked, and are having sex.’ Then he’ll tell me no. I go, ‘Okay, that’s good. But, if you do find something like that, you need to tell me right away because it’s not good for kids to see that. If you ever do, you need to turn the iPad or computer off and come get me. You won’t get in trouble.’
[00:09:27] Now is there the risk that he might go off and look for porn? There’s a good chance he won’t because if I give him enough information about the topic, he’ll understand. It’s like drugs. I live in the city and at the local park we do find needles and syringes, so we talk about drugs. Just because I talked to them about drugs doesn’t mean they’ll go using the needles on the ground.
So, give them information but also wrap around what our expectations are and what sort of behavior is okay. Anyway, YouTube can provide you with so much fun, especially since you can use it as an opportunity to talk about online safety and what sort of information there is.
I'm Cath, a sex educator living in Australia with my husband and 2 kids. I help parents to talk about sex (with less cringe and more confidence) and empower their child to make smart sexual decisions. To find a better way to talk about sex, you can join my community of parents and visit my shop for helpful resources.