Screen time, love it or hate it our kids will be begging for more constantly and whether you limit it or not really doesn’t matter they will be wanting more than we would like.
Our children have no concept of children’s TV of being on at certain times of the day. Before school and after school until 6.30pm was the norm when I was growing up.
Now it’s available to them all day long at the push of a button. No waiting until 5.30pm for Blue Peter, they now have catch up, Netflix, Now TV, Sky/Freeview and series link downloads available to them.
Gone are the days of 5 channels only. They now have hundreds available to them at any one time, they never have to miss the start of a show and can watch movies at the drop of a hat, no rushing to grab the snacks so you don’t miss the film start or crossing your legs as you couldn’t pause the TV to go to the loo.
We don’t actually watch live TV in this house, I just can’t bear the adverts which combined with kids turn into “Can I have that toy?”, “I want that for Christmas”, “my friend has that one why can’t I? “. By not watching they are rarely exposed to adverts and it’s one less headache.
A new obsession in our house is YouTube, or more specifically YouTube families.
If you’ve not come across these yet then “can I move in please?”
They aren’t all bad, some we really enjoy – How to make slime tutorials and 5-minute crafts are ones I actually really enjoy and we do then make many of those things together and we enjoy the DITL style vlogs.
The ones which are driving me nuts at the moment are the families who prank each other constantly, not just once or twice but every single new upload and they have around 3-5 new ones weekly lasting around 20 minutes each time.
The kids will watch every single one to see what happens next and they aren’t the only ones. These vlogs have millions of views on each one and the families millions and millions of subscribers so it’s obviously what the kids all want to see – hence more and more families making the content that makes them money and the kids love.
And if the prank ones weren’t bad enough there are just as many who are making our kids think that Hackers, Game Masters and Stalkers are after them.
They make vlogs pretending someone’s broken into their homes and that they are being followed/watched, pretend to find clues which they need to solve.
The acting leaves me cringing with the over exaggeration and pretending to be terrified – and my kids are hooked.
I’ve spoken to them and asked if they actually think this is real and happening, and they both really don’t – but they won’t stop watching – “Look Mummy, they’ve found a hidden safe in their room”, “Yes dear, in the middle of their wardrobe they’ve been using daily for years – of course, they’ve never seen it before”.
“Look, someone broke into their house and planted a camera behind their picture frame” – No, of course, they’ve not seen they HUGE hole cut into the picture on the wall where it’s ‘hidden’.
Think of the lowest budget scary movie you’ve ever seen, the ones your parents let you watch when you were about 9 or 10 – they weren’t scary or any good for that matter but you feel all grown up watching them – the plots in these YouTube vlogs are even worse.
Of course, these YouTubers have far better equipment than those filming the low-grade movies back then, their houses are far bigger than the entire film set and no matter how bad the ‘drama’ is the kids keep watching.
Please tell me this is a phase.
While I do let them watch these shows to an extent, they are now being limited in our house as I just can’t stand them.
Some of the Vlogging families they do love, and I don’t mind them watching (find myself watching too) are:
Any suggestions of UK Vlogging families are very welcomed.
What are your kids watching over on YouTube? Are there any channels you would recommend as I’m desperate for them to move away from these now – these pranking ones need to do one now!