A lot of children watch YouTube on their parent’s account or when not logged in at all. Sure, it’s easier to avoid the hassle of creating a child YouTube account, but there are reasons why your child should have their own YouTube Account that's separate from yours.
Read on to learn about the benefits of creating a YouTube account for your child and whether or not you should allow them to post videos on the app.
YouTube suggests videos based on what you search and watch. When you finish watching one video, it will suggest what to watch next. If you take no action, YouTube will choose for you and start playing the next video automatically.
If your child doesn’t log in to a YouTube account, they start fresh every time — which means they could be served content that’s not of interest to them or possibly inappropriate for their age.
What happens when you share an account with your child? You might have to skip through a few CoComelon nursery rhymes while you’re trying to catch up on highlights from last night’s game. Or, your child might be happily watching one Peppa Pig episode after another when she ends up on a “how to fix a dripping faucet” tutorial because you were watching a plumbing video earlier.
Things get dicey when you, as an adult, are consuming content that’s appropriate for you, but not necessarily appropriate for kids. If you watched the Dahmer documentary trailer last night, YouTube might later serve your child true crime videos that are too disturbing for them. Remember, YouTube thinks that everyone watching under one account is the same person.
Separate accounts can help ensure that you see what works for you, and your kid sees content that’s appropriate for their age.
If your child has their own YouTube account, you can link a parent monitoring tool to their account and stay on top of what types of content your child is consuming.
If you share an account, the app doesn’t know when you’re watching versus when your child is watching.
A harmful content alert from your child’s watch history might get buried among alerts from your watch history, and you might miss out on an important conversation with your child. Separate accounts ensure that you know when your child is viewing inappropriate content.
Monitor your child’s YouTube account free for 7 days. Try it out!
YouTube has a minimum age requirement of 13 to create an account. If your child is younger than 13, you can create a YouTube Kids account for them under your account. YouTube Kids filters content and shows videos that are appropriate for younger viewers. You can also control the settings and restrict mature content or search results.
YouTube Kids also has parental controls that allow parents to block content, share specific content with your child, turn search on or off, review your child’s watch history, and more.
It's not a perfect solution—inappropriate content sometimes gets through. But it's far better than letting them roam the internet without any filters at all. A good monitoring tool can help bridge the gap.
Creating content for YouTube comes with an entirely different set of concerns than consuming content, including:
As a parent, only you can decide what your child is ready for and what kind of risk you’re willing to take on. If they’re insistent, you can consider letting them post unlisted videos, which aren’t available through search. Only people you share them with can view them.
Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to set up a separate child YouTube account is up to you. If you do decide to set them up with their own account, be sure to monitor their activity and check in regularly with them about the content they’re consuming. With some precautions in place, a YouTube account can be a great way for your child to learn and explore their interests.