Raising kids in this day and age has become quite challenging. Being a mom of three from ages 5yr to 6m, it feels like I am a blender running at full speed without a lid. I am sure mommies can relate with that.
Managing work(from home), household chores and running around kids has its pros and cons. When I had my first daughter it wasn’t that difficult. Well!! To an extent it was lol coz my life suddenly became all about her sleeping, pooping and eating schedules. My second born comes pretty soon after the first one. And by the time I had her, elder one was already being introduced to Rhymes (that I’ve downloaded in a USB from YouTube) on TV and got use to of listening and watching music, animation and sounds etc. After the second baby it becomes difficult for me to manage everything. Keeping elder one busy while the younger one sleeps wasn’t easy considering the fact that I was living alone.
That was the time perhaps when I had handed over a Tablet to elder one. She was 2yr+ old then. She loved to play with music apps and watching movies on it. By the age 3 she got use to of the Tab and by age 4 I noticed that it has become an addiction for her. In between she has started to go to school too. Her first demand after coming from school was tablet.
She’s a hyperactive kid. Always keep you on the edge with her antics but when she has the Tab, there’s a sudden mood shift. She started to get hooked to Tab and I don’t know exactly when but she started to browse videos on YouTube from suggestion videos. She’ll sit silently at one place for hours holding the Tab which is impossible for her if the Tab wasn’t there. I also noticed that she becomes really fussy whenever I try to take the tablet away from her.
That’s when I intervened and kept a close eye on her. I’ve told her to keep the volume up while using Tab so that I have an idea what is being played on her screen. There were screams and weeping sounds of some videos featuring her favorite characters Elsa and Ana from the movie Frozen. When I watched those clips I was like WT*. It wasn’t even kids content. Elsa is being shown as pregnant, sometimes with Spiderman, huge syringes and obscene acts like delivering a baby and what not.
That was the time when I decided to cut down her YouTube interaction. I’ve put filters on YouTube app but they didn’t work. Then I downloaded some Disney movies and educational videos on her tablet and made her watch that but she keeps going back to YouTube. With her knowing where the Wi-Fi tab is.
Then I decided to delete YouTube. She behaved like a maniac first few times but then I diverted her attention and finally succeeded to let her Tab addiction go. It took some time but totally worth it. Now the Tab is away from her since past few months. Whenever she has to watch some cartoons she will watch them on the TV. Husband has made a habit to download some kids movies like Barbie series, minions etc for her every weekend. Her current favorite is Inside Out and Baby boss. I have written this post 8 months ago and publishing it now just to let all you mommies know that you can get your kids off screens but it will require some time and effort. Hang in there.
Also, I feel YouTube needs to filter its content for kids in a better way. The app is not at all safe to let kids use it on their own. Maybe a kids section with completely safe browsing options will make YouTube a better app for kids but if it is not happening, YouTube ain’t safe for kids. Keep an eye on what kids are watching as it has a huge impact on their behavioral pattern and psychology.
I suggest visiting the YouTube channel Mera Sabaq. Highly recommended for Urdu learning. Download videos and let kids watch them via TV.