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YouTube Reasonably

Posted on Thu, 11 January, 2018

It has come to my attention that I have not enough awareness of what my kids are finding on the web. They search what they hear their friends talking about, of course, as do I. But I keep forgetting that I am a reasonable adult and know how to contextualize what I see and hear. Those two little beings I am raising are not reasonable nor do they have the ability to contextualize Soulja Boy and glory holes. God help me, you read that right. So I have set out to learn how to deal with YouTube reasonably.


I have a fair amount of parenting experience now, 12 years in, with two kids and a boatload of professional training as a therapist. Yet I still forget that they are growing up different than me – I did not have access to EVERYTHING growing up. I didn’t think they did either with reasonable limits on screen time their dad and I have set, and parental controls.


In nine months my son will be a man, or so Judaism tells him when he becomes a Bar Mitzvah. He is taller than I, requiring as much space as me but make no mistake, this guy is far from a man. He still laughs at farts. Then again, so does my husband. Anyway, my point being, he is not mentally prepared to understand most of what his peer group is talking about – and the majority of it sexual with some drugs thrown in for diversity.


He and I have had numerous conversations about sex over the last three years– I’ve explained everything he has come to me with cause, hormones. He is beginning to have a man’s body, but still has a child’s mentality – how the hell do you reconcile that? It’s only slightly easier with my 9-year-old daughter.


She is certainly less sexually minded but it’s only a matter of time. Thanks to the losers on YouTube (I’m looking at you Jake and Logan Paul and all your cronies) she thinks people who cannot hold a job due to sheer stupidity are the models worth emulating. No fucking way. No. Way. Occasionally she searches animal videos and brain games; I wish that happened more often. I think the Paul Losers could benefit from some of those brain games! She’s more excited by watching women bump and grind in the rap videos, twirl their hair while vapidly commenting on irrelevant things. Did I mention I am a feminist?


Screen limits are well known and researched at this point – that is not my issue. How does a reasonable parent monitor content, educate on the benefit or relative stupidity of said content and teach self-discipline in the process? At some point I have to turn these hooligans out on the world, and frankly, I have my doubts at this point whether they can cut it. In fact, we have a running joke as they both have ADHD and are often caught not paying attention – in a catastrophe you’ll be the first to die. It was said with humor but as Freud postulated, all jokes have truth. I know without my husband or me around those kids are goners.


I am at a loss at how to reasonably monitor YouTube. I cannot be next to them physically each time they are on the computer, nor should I have to be. After some research, here’s what I found from Lifewire:


Enable YouTube Safety Mode in Your Web Browser

Safety Mode is YouTube’s current parental control offering.

Safety Mode attempts to filter YouTube search results so that the bad stuff is hopefully weeded out. It also prevents your child from viewing material that has been flagged as inappropriate by the YouTube community or has been marked for mature audiences only by the content’s creator. Safety Mode is mainly meant to limit the content of an explicit nature. YouTube makes no guarantees that it will be 100% effective at screening out the bad stuff, but at least it’s a start.

To enable YouTube Safety Mode, follow these steps:

  1. Log into your Google or Youtube account.
  2. Go to site in your web browser.
  3. Click on theSafety button near the bottom of the YouTube homepage.
  4. Click On. If you receive a message after clicking the on button that says “You can lock the Safety Mode setting after you sign in” then you are not logged into Google / YouTube. Click the “sign in” link if needed.
  5. Check the boxthat says “Lock safety mode on this browser”.
  6. Click Save.

After you’ve clicked the save button, the page you were on will reload and you will see a banner near the top of the page that shows a check mark with the words “Successfully enabled Safety Mode” next to it.


In order to prevent your child from just turning safety mode off, you must log out of your Google / YouTube account by clicking your username link in the top right-hand corner of the browser window. This will effectively lock the setting in for the browser you are using, preventing your child from disabling Safety Mode. You will need to repeat this process for all other web browsers that are on your computer (i.e. Firefox, Safari, etc).



As a professional I’m curious to see how Apple’s new parental controls to combat teen screen addiction will change anything, but the reality is it has everything to do with the parents. I know this professionally and just from plain common sense. And then as a parent I resist because coming home late from work, having to make a quick dinner, clean up repeatedly because ADHD remember, and I just can’t add one more thing to follow up on. This why women feel like bad parents; Anne-Marie Slaughter was right, you can’t have it all. Choose your battles I suppose.


Can I make screen issues, including content a biweekly calendarized item? Then defer it when it comes up on my To Do list? #parentwin



Jodi Klugman-Rabb is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Marin and Napa Counties. She specializes in connecting with clients on a humorous and practical level, helpful when specializing in ADHD, trauma and anger/communication skills. She uses EMDR to treat traumas and fears of all types. She is a wife of 18+ years and the mom of two funny and awesome kids. Connect with Jodi on her website or Facebook.


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A blog written by a hip, sometimes irreverent shrink who’s been around the block and calls it like it is

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