Parents on YouTube

Image: A. Noelle


Written and Edited by A. Noelle

1. Be Aware! Know the site.

  • Visit the site at, and familiarize yourself with its online content and community guidelines before viewing the site with your kids.
  • IMPORTANT: Keep in mind that your kids must be at least 13 years old in order to make their own YouTube accounts. Otherwise, you may create your own account or even a family account in order to view the site with the younger ones (at your discretion).
  • Visit YouTube’s Safety Center, and review the information. Note that the Help & Safety Tool may be used to report privacy or harassment violations.
  • Note that YouTube is a self-policing site and that no filter is 100%. You can help police bad content by “flagging” inappropriate videos or comments that violate community guidelines.
  • Delete harassing comments and block unwanted users; on that note, remind your kids to keep their own comments clean and respectful.
  • Create playlists of age-appropriate videos before you view the site with your kids so that you are aware of what they are watching. You may also create a list of favorite videos and subscribe to various user-channels.

2. Be Active! Talk to your kids.

  • Remind your kids that YouTube is a public site and to always be cautious when interacting with strangers online. Check-in with your kids, and have them inform you of their online activity, especially when strangers are involved (e.g., comments or video re posts).
  • Speak to your kids about site concerns and the potential exposure to questionable content (i.e., be prepared to talk about inappropriate videos that may have been posted by other users).
  • Show your kids how to protect their identities online by talking about what kinds of information should be displayed in their profiles:
  • Never use real names when creating usernames.
  • Never display identifying information (e.g., home addresses, home phone numbers, or school names).
  • Never share passwords.
  • Never use identifying information in your “video tags” (search identifiers).
  • Help your kids post appropriate video content to the site:
  • Keep private home videos private and only viewable to close friends and family (i.e., never make public a private home video that contains images of your real home, school, license plate numbers, etc.).
  • Never allow your kids to post videos that could get them into trouble or hurt others.

3. Be Prepared! Always use Safety Mode.

  • Screen out potentially objectionable content by turning on the Safety Mode option at the bottom of the screen. When you are signed-in to your account, you will also have the option of “locking” Safety Mode on your preferred browser. Consider enabling and “locking” Safety Mode on all browsers used by your kids.


  1. You Tube offers many funny videos as well as a lot of other “stuff!” I personally found it interesting, when looking at cartoons with the grandchildren, that offers popped up of cartoons presented in foreign languages. Great article!

  2. Pingback: Parents on YouTube | Noelle's Portfolio

  3. Pingback: 10 Fun Summer Activities for Kids | Manilla Blog

  4. Pingback: 5 Creative Children’s Activities to Dispel the Winter Blues | The Chelsea Foundation's Official Parenting Blog

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