Wednesday 23 October 2013

A Young You-Tuber

I recently heard that C Beebies are all in a Tiswas as they've realised toddlers are increasingly watching "TV" on online devices such as a tablet and that their TV shows may be a bit too babyish - actually what I heard on the radio might have been spin as it seems what they are considering is TV Shows after their evening shutdown/watershed of the normal 7 p.m.  Well they are right to worry. Aaron is only three years of age and he grew out of C Beebies a long time ago.  Reading that article though makes me realise they are considering changes with 6-12 year olds in mind.  Oooops Aaron is only 3, but they seem to get old younger nowadays.  Also he is hardly ever asleep as 1900!! His bedtime is more like 2130 but lately there's been a lot of 2030s I have been rather grateful for.

After his love affair with CBeebies he then moved on to DVDs and got bored of them too.  Then we moved over to Cartoonito and NOW his favourite Channel is Disney Junior meaning that his favourite shows are:
  • Jake and The Never Land Pirates - that's what's on most of his underwear, thanks to a purchase in Tesco. It helps with toilet training no end if pants are fun and popular!
  • Sofia The Princess First - yep despite his being a boy he loves it
  • Doc McStuffins
  • Curious George.
It's funny when you talk to Mums who don't have Disney Junior as I say "Jake" and they are like "Who?"  But Jake is in all the shops (and on Aaron's Xmas wish list).

When it is bedtime and we are in a different room he insists on watching them on my phone on You Tube.  I love the nights where he'll fall asleep on the first one, but he normally watches quite a few. When I insist on reading a book to him it normally turns into 5 books and it's always followed with "can I watch your phone?"  You Tube is not great when we're out, so he even understands now that "Mummy doesn't have wifi"!

Occasionally I let him watch You Tube on my phone or "pooter" unsupervised.  That is to say he is not on my knee, but I am near enough to hear what he is watching and he only ever watches his favourites.

In the digital electronic automised culture we now live in, online safety is increasingly important.  I would never allow him (till an old age) to have his own Facebook account or post things to You Tube himself (sadly I have seen my nieces do this).  I think the best technique is to block certain websites and I loved it when we were with Talk Talk as the broadband did that at source, upon entry to the home for all devices.  It's very interesting with that in mind to read this: How to keep your kids safe online and block websites - the article says "using a mouse or touchscreen to navigate is as much a life skill as learning to read and write".  I agree but they actually learn it BEFORE reading and writing.  Look around a restaurant or cafe the next time you are there and you will for sure see little ones on a device, be it a phone or ipad/tablet.  We aren't lucky enough to own a tablet in this house, but Aaron is often on my Samsung Galaxy.

At my nieces' house the other day he got on their ipad and was on it for so long, he really lived up to his title of Threenager.  I took the photo at the top of this post - he was hooked! I think he'd love it if we had one.  Then I really would be worried about online controls.

It was talked about on the radio recently that kids, too young, are online and I texted in that my 3 year old goes on You Tube and they were horrified, but all of my friends do it too.  The article about the BBC and CBeebies above kind of proves it too.  When I am out with my friend and her little boy is disruptive on the bus, she straight away lets him watch You Tube on her phone.

Gosh, this blog post will make you think I am raising a child with square eyes, but no! We are out so often.  Aaron has more days out than any other child I know, which is why TV is such a treat when he gets to see it.  We were rarely indoors for the whole Summer and even in Spring we just wrapped up.  Since Autumn though screen time is on the rise, worryingly so I AM going to finally bite the bullet and do craft and baking with him.  Famous words but I have already bought paint, glue and paper, resulting in some recent works of art:

Little ones know how to use touchscreen devices in a way we NEVER did.  I think I was a teenager when I first used a mouse and I was clumsy at best.  When I read an article like this in the Daily Mail I worry about my nieces and nephews.  I need to be well clued-up by the time Aaron starts to want to go beyond the reaches of You Tube and delve into social media when he's older.  Nowadays children even have their own blogs. 

That article on the daily mail actually tested some of the most widely used family filters on the market, and arrived at the conclusion that Norton Family was the better one out of the lot they tested, scoring a perfect 100 on the majority of the tests they put it through, as well as affordability. The version tested was actually free and comes with many a features, but parents have the option of opting in for premium version for only £29.99 for some of the extra features not included in the free one.  

Features of the premium version

  • Web Supervision – Tracks all the websites your kids visit or attempt to visit, and lets you block specific sites or types of sites.
  • Video Monitoring – Shows you the YouTube and Hulu videos your kids watch, and lets you view a snippet of each video.  [I particularly like the ability to view snippet of the videos he’s clicked as he's still very young!]
  • Social Network Monitoring – Shows you how your kids represent themselves on social networking sites, including the name, age and profile picture they use.
  • Search Supervision – Tracks the words, terms and phrases your kids search for online, and lets you filter inappropriate content.
  • Personal Information Protection – Lets you prevent your child from sharing sensitive personal information online, including phone number, Social Security number and email address.
  • Time Supervision – Allows you to see how much time your kids spend online and to set limits on how much time they can spend on their computers. You can even limit use to specific hours or days of the week. [That'd be great to control homework time when he starts to get some].
  • Email Alerts – Automatically alerts you via email when kids ignore a warning or attempt to visit a blocked site.
  • Text Message Supervision – Shows you what your kids say in text messages, and lets you choose who they can exchange messages with.
  • Mobile App Supervision – Shows which apps your kids have installed or uninstalled, and lets you block specific apps or types of apps.
  • Parent Mobile App – Lets you monitor your kids' online activities from your iPhone®, iPad® or Android™ mobile device and adjust settings when you’re on the go.
  • Activity History – Keeps a log of all your kids’ online and mobile activities and the amount of time they've spent on their computers during the past 90 days.
  • Periodic Email Reports – Gives you the option to have Norton Family Premier email you detailed reports of your kids' online activities every week, once a month or both.
This post was an Article Collaboration but all words are my own, apart from the "features" above which I copied and pasted as I think they are genuinely of benefit/interest and relevant.

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