There is a lot of content, and kids can easily spend hours wading through the ocean of videos online. From Cocomelon to gamer streams like PewDiePie and YouTube can be a video-filled playground for a kid, especially if they have access to one .
So what should parents do? Instead of letting your child run amok on YouTube with unbridled freedom, you can exercise restraint by enabling restrictions. While there are ways to override security settings on your Android oror YouTube has a number of features that go beyond the basics . You can limit screen time, monitor content, block videos, and more.
The separate YouTube Kids app is designed for younger kids, but the main YouTube app offers tons of other ways to monitor what your child is watching, even when they’re older. Here are the top tools available to parents, roughly in order from easiest to most involved – from a single toggle to setting up and using separate apps.
Discard what you don’t want your child to see
YouTube’s algorithm notoriously tracks your life and what you enjoy watching. Then it uses that information to recommend related — or surprisingly random — videos to grab your attention. Imagine how many videos kids are bombarded with after seeing the latest Marvel trailer, for example. There is a way to turn this off.
YouTube encourages parents to opt out of content they don’t want their kids to see by clicking the three dots on a video or channel and “Not interested.” Such content will not appear in youronce again. This feature is only available to mobile phone users, which might keep you on your toes when your child is checking out something that is way too old for them.
Unlike some other security options, this one isn’t on autopilot and requires you to be an active viewer. It’s ideal for watching with your kids at the doctor’s office, at the beach, or in an Uber, where they learn to be quick with the dismissive clicks when autoplay is on.
An option separate from the “Not Interested” feature provided by YouTube Restricted mode is a single setting that allows you to hide inappropriate content. It is available on all devices including smart TVs and tablets. On a phone or tablet, click your account profile, navigate to General and then press the gear icon for settings. Switch Restricted Mode to On. If you don’t watch YouTube on a smart TV, you’ll need to sign in to your Google account to enable this setting.
You can use this feature to manage videos for a child of any age, including teenagers. Restricted mode is also accessible if you have a supervised account for your child.
Monitor your child’s account
launched on YouTube in 2021,are available for parents in beta mode. They work exactly as they sound. Originally, these accounts were specifically for children under 13, but now the feature includes older teens as well.
Content ratings are set by parents. On YouTube, parents can choose from three content settings – Explore, Discover More, and Most of YouTube – which match tween and teen age ratings. These settings apply to the main YouTube app and YouTube Music.
- Discover is generally for viewers ages 9 and up. Some of the videos may contain low levels of violence, controlled substances, or provocative language. YouTube also notes that educational videos about the human body or mental health are also in this grouping.
- videos below explore more are aimed at the target group aged 13 and over. In addition to vlogs, music videos, game clips, and other content, it may contain light profanity, violence, controlled substances, and “non-explicit sexual references.”
- The app Most from YouTube -Setting means videos intended for older teens, excluding videos marked for 18+ users and a selection of filtered content.
Worried about ads? Supervised accounts prevent personalized ads from being shown and certain other ads are not allowed. Video creators are required to notify YouTube when their content features product placements, so you may occasionally see these occurrences.
According to YouTube, the updated features for supervised accounts now include the ability to block specific channels, and supervised experiences have been extended to eligible smart TVs and YouTube Music on Android, iOS, web and Google Assistant on smart displays.
Go to YouTube Kids
Prefer to keep it simple for kids under 13? Just set them up with a YouTube Kids account. The app is completely separate from the main YouTube app and contains age-appropriate content curated by either YouTube or you, the parent. Videos are handpicked and filtered by a panel of parents, kid experts, and YouTube engineers before they make it onto the platform, and you still have the ability to report or block channels and individual videos.
Plus, parents and carers with Google accounts can sign in through the YouTube Kids app and send content directly to their kids. But it’s the parental controls that can give you real peace of mind.
After you create child profiles, you can choose content based on age or set them to require approval for each video. The latter allows you to choose collections or specific channels for your child’s viewing experience, and prevents children from searching for anything in the app. Parents can also set timers or track their child’s TV history. If you want to go one step further, you can opt for a premium account to block all ads.
Manage YouTube with Google’s Family Link app
In addition to being the parent company of YouTube, Google owns Family Link, an app that allows users to filter content and manage screen time for kids. It’s not a requirement to use parental controls, YouTube’s supervised accounts, or other security features, but it can make your life easier.
With Family Link, you can link new or existing Google accounts for your child. For children under 13, you can register a new account, and Family Link lets you use parental controls and supervision on existing accounts for children of all ages. However, with the latter, your child will need parental supervision for you to enable it. From there, you can install and activate Family Link on their individual devices and manage YouTube from your own account. If your kids turn off supervision on their devices, you will receive a notification and Android devices will be locked.
Family Link is available on the YouTube website, Chromebook, iOS 11 devices and later, and certain Android devices running version 5.0 or later. Download the app and it will walk you through the steps to add your child’s new or existing Google account. Once the accounts are linked and enrollment is complete, your kids can use Family Link to sign in to their devices. From there, you can set restrictions or block devices for each child just by tapping their name in Family Link.
If your child’s YouTube app access is linked to yours, you can then set limits for screen time, content, or bedtime. You can monitor what videos they watch and how often, whether it’s on the regular YouTube app, YouTube Kids, or YouTube Music.
For more information, seeand how to set up and use yours . Besides, here are the .