Dr Fadwa Lkorchy, psychologist at German Neuroscience Centre in Dubai, advises youngsters to avoid peer pressure regarding the kind of content they should watch.
Parents, she believes, have a strong role to play in helping their children fight peer pressure and be able to make their own choices.
“Youngsters should be empowered by their parents and school,” Lkorchy said. “This would give them the ability to stand up for what they dislike and say no.”
Lkorchy also stressed that youngsters nowadays have a misconception about the term “cool”.
With wide-ranging definitions of what is ‘cool’, the outcome for a child who has no clear understanding of the term and is dictated to by what others say or believe can often be unpleasant.
“Kids and teenagers should understand that getting good grades, and excelling in any kind of sport is what makes them ‘cool’,” Lkorchy said. “Kids should also know that those who pressure them to watch YouTube that can be a bad influence is a negative thing.”
As for parents who are confronted with the reality of kids watching too much YouTube, Lkorchy advises them to take firm action. “Parents are obliged to remove the tool [gadget], whether a phone or tablet, that connects their kids to YouTube.”
Watching YouTube, with the right content, for half an hour or an hour per day is more than enough for youngsters, she said.
Lkorchy also expressed concern about the parental tendency, among some, to use YouTube as a tool to keep their kids quiet.
“Parents should realize that society doesn’t raise their kids; they do,” Lkorchy said.
It is the responsibility of parents to create conducive circumstances for their children to seek other means of entertainment and learning.
“Parents should involve their kids in physical activities to help them stay away from spending too much time on YouTube.”
Parents should also make sure that their children are watching appropriate content on YouTube.
“Monitor the videos that children are watching, making sure that there are no other links for inappropriate content.”
Original article published in Gulf News Dubai, February 16, 2018, Falak Kassab