'All the infuriating things my kids have begun doing since becoming obsessed with YouTube.'

This very serious and quite taxing issue has plagued me for some time. I have discussed it with my husband, with other parents and even my children. Quite honestly I don’t understand despite the considerable time I have spent contemplating this challenge that faces me on a daily basis, so I am turning to you, to ask the big question.

Here it goes – what is it with kids watching videos of other kids on YouTube? Or adults opening kids toys on YouTube? I just don’t get it but I do know for my own mental health I need it to stop!

At my house, hours can be gobbled up into a YouTube vortex when the endless supply of what my kids call “kids play” – AKA the infinite array of these mind-numbing videos where kids (or sometimes adults) play with toys or open toys or have to find toys (you get the drift) or some variation of this – find their way onto the TV screen. In fact, there is nothing else that will occupy them in quite the same way. It is like a drug. I have tried to sit and watch at least one full video because my kids genuinely love watching them.

Their faces light up with a smile when a Kinder Surprise is opened and the toy is one the person hadn’t found before. They squeal with excitement when they open a ‘rare’ or ‘limited edition’ toy in a series, like a five and four-year-old actually knows what that means.

Despite my best efforts, and the fact that the videos make my kids happy, I just can’t justify that they are any more than the most infuriating, mind-numbing pieces of sh*t to have ever played on our television.

obsessed with youtube kids
Shona's daughter Addi reading to her sister, Milla. Image: Supplied.

Now I have tried deleting the YouTube app and YouTubeKids apps from our TV due to the over-consumption of these horrendous videos, but somehow in a moment of weakness, they found their way back.


Sometimes people will say to me, “isn’t it nice having a spare hour to yourself while these other people’s kids occupy yours?” In one respect the answer is yes, but then conscience and respect for my children (and myself) kicks back in and the answer is no. The side effects of this ‘YouTube Exposure’ outweigh any free time I may be awarded while the videos are on.

My youngest child, aged four, is subjected to more of this ‘YouTube Exposure’ than my other child, simply due to the fact her parents go to work and leave her in the care of her grandma. So due to this circumstance, it is the YouTube or ‘kids play’ effects I see impacting my youngest the most. They consist of: speaking in American accent (the words “banana” and “can’t” are pronounced with a heavy American twang), the use of American words such as “candy” rather than “lollies”, and an obsession with whatever toy is being collected on the video, including but not limited to LOLs, Kinder Surprise toys and My Little Pony figurines.

obsessed with youtube
Addi and Milla watch an educational video on YouTube. Image: Supplied.

My main gripe is when they my children imitate the behaviour of the kids they watch in the videos. For those lucky enough to not have seen them, the kids on YouTube are often quite spoilt (to put it nicely). They are also quite in love with being on camera (again to put it nicely). So when my eldest daughter says she is “Audrey” in reference to one of the ‘stars’ of these series and starts exclaiming “oh my goodness” to everything and squeals with excitement when opening a Kinder Surprise, I die just a little inside.

So here I am, like many other parents out there, at a crossroads of television viewing just thinking, “I am just a parent, looking at my kids, asking WTF?”

Do your children watch YouTube Kids?