I remember once reading a book or an article by a parenting expert who said that it can be really challenging to engage with children on their own level, to learn what interests them and to try to have a good time with them and do what they love to do powerful tool in your parenting toolbox.
While I often use this approach with hobbies outside of the home, over a recent rainy weekend I decided to try this out with one of her favorite things to do at home — watching YouTube (yes, I know the bane of it all). between the existence of the parent).
Would you like to join the family? Sign up with us Kidsspot newsletter for more stories like this.
RELATED: A teacher forced my son to face the wall as punishment
“It’s like hearing another language that I don’t understand or don’t want to understand.”
To be honest, I prefer entertainment via a subscription service or (very rarely) free-to-air, but I appreciate that times are changing, and they are for my kids and the kids of their generation (hell, even the generation directly). behind me). ) the conversation today focuses on videos on social media, namely YouTube.
For the past few months, I’ve overheard my two daughters (nine and ten) discussing their favorite YouTube channels and creators at length. They talk about it at the dinner table, in the car while watching the videos, and occasionally even let me or my husband know about something “really cool” that happened.
Most of the time though I can’t really remember what was said because a) I’ve tuned out everything remotely related to YouTube and b) when I listen it’s like I’m hearing a different language, which I just don’t understand (And in this case I don’t feel like understanding).
But I know they absolutely love a few Australian YouTubers filming themselves playing Roblox.
“The excitement was sucked out of my soul”
On that rainy day with not much else to do, I decided to take the leap of faith and do what the parenting expert said: put myself on her footing and pursue one of her favorite hobbies and interests: I agreed to watch some videos with them.
Let me tell you, her excitement was through the roof; They were really thrilled that me, their mom, who usually shuts down every YouTube talk and tells them to leave the platform several times a week, is actually showing an interest in it and watching it amicably with them.
I honestly think they thought I was going a little crazy (which I think I can confirm with hindsight).
That part of the whole experience was wonderful and one of the positive aspects I think the parenting expert talked about.
But soon (very soon), after the start of the second 13-minute episode, any excitement (even false) excitement I had was sucked right out of my soul until all that was left was a shell of the person I once was.
RELATED: My stepchild went through our wedding gifts during our honeymoon
“Ridiculous comment about next to nothing”
I’m sure not every YouTuber is like the ones I’ve seen and maybe it’s my fault for not giving this whole experience enough time, but OMG once I heard the drawl of that very specific voice and heard the lengthened vowels it kinda made it all a wail, the word “kill” was said about fifteen times in a minute, well I was done.
Actually, that’s not entirely true after listening to what she said (other than “Slay”), the utterly ridiculous comment about next to nothing that subsequently caused my brain cells to rapidly erupt from my once-cherished skull disappeared, well that was it when I drew the line and ended this experiment.
Yes, I lasted a full half hour (which I’m honestly really impressed with in hindsight) because it was just bullshit.
Before my face morphed from a fake smiling, engaged viewer, my kids glanced over at me to gauge my reaction, hoping I’d hit the subscribe and like buttons too. And while that was very sweet, it still wasn’t enough for me to fake it for more than about 15 minutes as pent-up frustration came out with the biggest sigh known to man.
After that I told them in the nicest way I could muster that it just wasn’t for me and that I didn’t think I could watch much more.
15 minutes later, I muttered, “Okay, Mom has some time to herself now.” They glanced up from the screen for a moment, and I then went upstairs and turned on my mindfulness app (because 11pm seemed too early for wine).