Parenting & Family

Benefit or harm 2 year old learning through YouTube

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  • Jan 23rd, 2022 3:46 am
[OP]
Sr. Member
Sep 13, 2008
725 posts
52 upvotes
Toronto

Benefit or harm 2 year old learning through YouTube

My sister has a 2 year old and she lets the kid watch YouTube videos from morning to night. The videos are all education kids song videos and the 2 year old is able to learn how to copy and sing the songs but my concern is that the kid is getting too much screen time. My sister thinks because her 2 year old can sing the songs it's a good way to teach him language skills.

The kidb will get frustrated and cry if you change the video to something else but as soon as you put his normal videos back on he will sit on the couch and sing along.

Imo it seems like he's learning but is it really a good way to teach a 2 year old English just by letting him watch YouTube videos all day?
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17 replies
Deal Guru
Oct 7, 2010
13012 posts
3997 upvotes
Maybe a bit of YouTube kids but not real YouTube. Also even it is YouTube kids there is a lot of garbage content. I personally really dislike YouTube, I really need a version of YouTube that is just educational content.
Deal Fanatic
Sep 21, 2004
8613 posts
1425 upvotes
Watch this. It's important to note screen time and the type of content.



I'm glad we watched it before we had kids. We find it scary now as we observe kids, their behaviour, attention span, social ability, etc.

It's easy to dump kids in front of youtube. I get it. We occasionally do it too. But imo a lot of parents now rationalize the electronic babysitter for some free time and there'll be a price to pay in the future.

Kids can learn songs watching coco melon, sure. Kids can also learn songs listening to a record. Kids can learn/practice math on a tablet... They can also do it on a piece of paper. Unfortunately the latter choices require more effort on parents and well we know what happens.
Deal Guru
Dec 5, 2006
13063 posts
8309 upvotes
Markham
OpportunityChaos wrote: My sister has a 2 year old and she lets the kid watch YouTube videos from morning to night. The videos are all education kids song videos and the 2 year old is able to learn how to copy and sing the songs but my concern is that the kid is getting too much screen time. My sister thinks because her 2 year old can sing the songs it's a good way to teach him language skills.

The kidb will get frustrated and cry if you change the video to something else but as soon as you put his normal videos back on he will sit on the couch and sing along.

Imo it seems like he's learning but is it really a good way to teach a 2 year old English just by letting him watch YouTube videos all day?
Is it because your sister's family is too busy on work? Every family has their struggles during this covid time.

I think my son didn't have ipad until 7(might be 6) and we don't even have TV channels at home

He is 11 and he has 1 hour screen time during school day(doesn't matter it's IPad, Switch) and two hours on weekends (noon and evening)

All day on TV is not optimal.
Deal Fanatic
May 22, 2003
8679 posts
5525 upvotes
Vancouver
My 2 year old child watches a fair amount of youtube, more than she should, but it's the only way she'll eat when we feed her. On the plus side her vocabulary is pretty good ( she knows all the weird animals like yak) and she can count much better and know her alphabet more than her cousin who is a year older.
Deal Addict
Jul 19, 2004
1445 posts
738 upvotes
Vancouver
It's really hard to not let kids use a screen considering adults themselves are glued to the screens themselves.

I remember this article saying all the tech CEOs actually forbid their own kids from screens. So that tells you something about whether it's a good thing or not.

https://www.businessinsider.com/screen- ... ag-2017-10
Member
Jun 2, 2011
260 posts
459 upvotes
Toronto
someone16 wrote: It's really hard to not let kids use a screen considering adults themselves are glued to the screens themselves.

I remember this article saying all the tech CEOs actually forbid their own kids from screens. So that tells you something about whether it's a good thing or not.

https://www.businessinsider.com/screen- ... ag-2017-10
All the tech CEOs think/do that because money is not an issue. Am sure given the choice of watching kids youtube or having a some genius come and teach your kids everyday the latter will be better. The CEOS probly has all the learning toys in a playroom 10x my house. Unfortunately 90% of us can't really do that. I would love to see their thinking on that if they were working 12 hr shifts, go home cook, clean, and bathe the kid.
Deal Addict
Feb 20, 2009
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Use your own judgement, I will tell you this I have a 10 and a 3 year old and both my kids are high functioning on the autism spectrum. My oldest I paid 150$ an hour for a speech therapist and I can tell you I've found numerous free youtube videos offering close to 90% of the level of service as I had with an in home speech therapist. So yea, I'm fine with their screen time and I use my own judgement for moderation.
Deal Fanatic
Sep 21, 2004
8613 posts
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Nhuynh555 wrote: All the tech CEOs think/do that because money is not an issue. Am sure given the choice of watching kids youtube or having a some genius come and teach your kids everyday the latter will be better. The CEOS probly has all the learning toys in a playroom 10x my house. Unfortunately 90% of us can't really do that. I would love to see their thinking on that if they were working 12 hr shifts, go home cook, clean, and bathe the kid.
I think there's a lot more to it than just money. Throwing a room full of toys at a 2 year old doesn't magically cure boredom or a need for interactions.

Want your kid to know songs? Sing with them.

Want them to have a bigger vocabulary? Talk with them.

Want them to learn something? Teach them.

Want them to explore and learn? Take them on outings.

Throwing them in front of YouTube or a tablet full of apps is just excuses we use to make ourselves feel better. When we see some form of positive outcome, we clutch on to it and ignore the negatives. I get it. We have 3 kids and both of us work full time jobs. We're exhausted every day. Our house is a disaster. We catch up on work when the kids go to bed. That's the price we'll pay to minimize the screens.

It wasn't that long ago that kids didn't have these things and they managed just fine. Now every kid needs their own tablet in the car, a phone at the restaurant, etc.

If things aren't flashing, making sounds, prompting for input every second, kids will go bonkers. Gosh forbid a child should ever have to answer a few math questions on a piece of paper with a pencil where there isn't instantly cheering and chimes for every correct answer.

I'm helping coach 2 hockey teams this winter and the inability to focus and listen, particularly in the u7 group is astounding. At this point the pucks need flashing lights and sounds installed if we want to keep the kids focused.

I'm not saying all screen time is bad. But we as a society need to take a step back and reflect on what kind and how much we expose our children to. I don't think there are any parents who look back and say "man, I wish my kids watched more YouTube videos when they were in preschool".
Deal Addict
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Apr 8, 2007
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Mississauga
Hubby's been a kindergarten teacher for a number of years.

We have 2 school aged kids at home - based on what he's observed, we limit screen time in our house.

I honestly don't have any judgement - especially in this pandemic, parents gotta do what parents gotta do. But for our family, screens are a negative influence and we try to go screen free as much as possible. We do use screens when we need a break and as a treat for the kids. But as a primary mode of learning, there's more negatives than positives for us.

His anecdotal impressions:
- It affects attention span. Regular books can't compete with flashing screens that keep your brain/eyes engaged in different ways. For preschool learners, giving them a interest and love of books will be a lifelong benefit.
- When screens are shut off, my kids will have tantrums. Doesn't matter what it is. Their behaviour is negatively impacted.
- It limits creativity and imagination. After months of online learning, we went screen free in the summer. All of a sudden, the kids were playing forts, imagination games, etc....they found creative and fun ways to fill their time. Wasn't happening with tablets during last year's online learning.
- Screens don't offer connection and feedback. Kids are inherently wired to want to feel an emotional connection with their caregivers and teachers.
Sr. Member
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Sep 26, 2006
748 posts
255 upvotes
We unplugged our TVs and store them away. We try not to use our phones/tablets in front of our 2.5 year old. We have a Google Home speaker and a Spotify account and he listens to kids songs and learn from that.

We try not to use YouTube as a baby sitter. Human interaction is way better than electronic interactions but some people just don't have the time and I understand that.

After watching this, We try not to use our phones in front of him and ignore him. When we are with him, we put our phones away and give him 100% of our attention.
Deal Addict
Nov 7, 2012
1440 posts
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TORONTO
My 4y/o loves YT and YT kids. And like many it is easy as a parent to just give them the tablet to occupy them so they don't bother you. Obviously this would have negative outcomes.
There are a few things that my SO and I have done to limit its use as well as monitor what he is watching/consuming on it.

-Tablet/Ipad use is a privilege. My son has to earn that privilege by doing specific tasks. ie. Not getting out of bed during the night after he's been put down.
-Can only use the tablet/ipad after his nap in the afternoon or after dinner for a short period of time.
-If at anytime he disobeys or is rude or has some kind of bad behaviour, he will lose ipad privileges for the next day. The key to this is the follow through.
-We push the use of YT kids but allow him to utilize regular YT but we monitor the videos. He's into bottle flipping videos, so not much of a concern at this time.

But aside from YT we push the use of Apple Music. He enjoys various artists. The past few months he was into the Beatles. Prior to that he was into KRS-One. We encourage music listening but also make it known that bad language is not appropriate and even
question him if certain songs are. And he def. knows which are bad and which are not. This in turn led me to teach him about certain bad words he cannot use in regular conversation.

The other big thing that we all need to be cognizant about is our own screen time as well. Yes we're the parents but its almost hypocritical to be so hard on them about screen time when we're almost always buried in our own phones.

There are def. pro's and cons to tablet use. I think the key is to control and monitor that use. Treat it as a privilege and not a babysitter.
Jr. Member
Sep 27, 2020
117 posts
69 upvotes
notenoughsleep wrote: My 2 year old child watches a fair amount of youtube, more than she should, but it's the only way she'll eat when we feed her. On the plus side her vocabulary is pretty good ( she knows all the weird animals like yak) and she can count much better and know her alphabet more than her cousin who is a year older.
Yeah I see successful adults all the time who can name rare animals but can't pay attention for long periods or self soothe.
Deal Expert
Feb 29, 2008
29075 posts
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Did that when my kids were 2. Still paying for it 7 years later.
Member
Sep 3, 2010
285 posts
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It has been a general consensus in multiple countries (both western and eastern) that tv/pad screen is not good for toddler/kid as it limit their eye and brain growth. I don’t recall the exact detail but something about colorful graphics, fast motion , and dummified vocabulary ends up doing more harm , it’s like feeding something fast food all day ….also. They can become more and more addicted to these kind of graphic and video and can’t take anything that’s less exciting (such as reading a book or just having conversations ) for sure, not all kids are the same, some can still watch cartoon all day and able to stop whenever and sit down grab a book to read , but not all are able to do so once exposed to long duration or tv/pad/cell phone screen contents
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Nov 30, 2005
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OpportunityChaos wrote: My sister has a 2 year old and she lets the kid watch YouTube videos from morning to night. The videos are all education kids song videos and the 2 year old is able to learn how to copy and sing the songs but my concern is that the kid is getting too much screen time. My sister thinks because her 2 year old can sing the songs it's a good way to teach him language skills.

The kidb will get frustrated and cry if you change the video to something else but as soon as you put his normal videos back on he will sit on the couch and sing along.

Imo it seems like he's learning but is it really a good way to teach a 2 year old English just by letting him watch YouTube videos all day?
I think you answered your own question. If a child cannot control their outbursts because you take away their stimulant, its a problem and it's probably not wise to allow it to perpetuate.
Deal Addict
Sep 6, 2017
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OpportunityChaos wrote: My sister has a 2 year old and she lets the kid watch YouTube videos from morning to night. The videos are all education kids song videos and the 2 year old is able to learn how to copy and sing the songs but my concern is that the kid is getting too much screen time. My sister thinks because her 2 year old can sing the songs it's a good way to teach him language skills.

The kidb will get frustrated and cry if you change the video to something else but as soon as you put his normal videos back on he will sit on the couch and sing along.

Imo it seems like he's learning but is it really a good way to teach a 2 year old English just by letting him watch YouTube videos all day?
Why not come out of the closet and admit it is you?

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