Have you observed the sudden upsurge in the volume of children’s content by the media industry? As producers are creating a content direct-to stream, studios provide on-demand access to kid content in the form of movies, cartoons, and videos. Families often hop on these programs so quickly that we hardly have time or even remember to safely check for what is appropriate for children and what is not.
We want to appreciate our content creators and producers for their relentless efforts that go behind the scenes to ensure that parents and children are always engaged and entertained each time we go online. They have provided valuable educational and entertainment content for the entire family.
However, we must be alert to the fact that just as “all that glitters ain’t gold,” not all educational content available online has a happy outcome. The truth is, while a great deal of kid content accessed online is incredibly beneficial, some others are a cause for concern.
So the big question is, how can we maximize the benefits offered by this child media overload and, at the same time, manage the associated pitfalls for the overall online safety of our kids. To begin answering the question, we must first acknowledge the benefits of these content we’re enjoying.
The great benefits of children’s content overload
Much as the volume of content produced by content creators and producers appear overwhelming, the positive impacts on children’s education and development have not gone unnoticed. Some of these benefits are as analyzed below.
1. Choice for parents and voice for producers
With so much kiddie content produced and uploaded, parents now have the freedom to decide and choose whatever they need and believe would serve their kids’ best interests.
As parents enjoy their right of choice and decision, content creators and producers have thus been allowed to air their voices. They are making fair use of the opportunity to speak to multi-level audiences when most parents and their children are together at home because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Incidentally, their strategy is to include adult and children’s content in various programs in a bid to achieve co-viewing.
While producers have succeeded in speaking to both parents and children at the same time through co-viewing, as parents, we must rise to protect our kids by monitoring, especially those programs that are created for multiple audiences. Know when to ‘pause-and-skip’ certain scenes that you consider inappropriate for your kids. By applying these simple parenting techniques, children may be protected from harmful or nefarious content, and we’ll be all be happier for it.
2. Accessibility to various flexible features
Irrespective of the device you have, you’re more than likely able to engage with pieces of content even unsolicited. With the high content volumes uploaded, you can easily access kid shows, online book engagement, various YouTube channels, even kid-safe videos. You thus have the opportunity to maximize the benefits of their flexible features such as; pause-and-start at will, develop your family schedule for engagement, and set up your intermissions.
We’re excited that lots of streaming channels and platforms release programs that allow for additional engagement to keep families entertained.
3. Making room for creativity
It’s fantastic to see innovations in children’s content creator space that promote smart parenting in a digital age. Specific storybooks that were only available offline have now been made to come to life in such a way that begins to engage with the actual storybook. You can enjoy the VR experience if you have the equipment at home; you can have an educational moment as if you’re doing an online course. The idea that yours and even your child’s creative spark can be unleashed through online platforms is now more real than ever. Please take advantage of the opening opportunities to innovate especially if there’s something you’ve always wanted to learn like a DIY home project or a cooking class for children and try doing it with your children right along beside you.
Managing the problems of children’s content overload
In particular, parents are presently enjoying the benefits of choosing what they need for their kids, while producers are freely giving their voices without restraints. This development has encouraged parents to unlock their creative potentials while they access content with flexibility.
The availability of multiple sources for kids content, both onscreen and off-screen, has brought positive benefits for producers and consumers in the industry, as we’ve enumerated above. This content overload has also presented some problems to which parents must adequately manage to utilize the benefits of children’s content to assist them in their developmental stages. Some of these problems are as follows :
1. Decision Fatigue
With so many channels to visit and so many programs to choose from, it’s easy to get to the point where you don’t know which way to go. The beauty remains that much as the power and right to choose lies with you, you’re still in control. You must determine ahead of time what’s important for your kids. What program characters, content channels, or apps are they interested in? Having this at the back of mind early on will help you steer the decision in the right direction.
2. Accessibility Restraints
The idea that everyone has equal access to the same digital content is just not true. That we have the freedom to access various features of online content that don’t have limitless opportunities in the content landscape. Here are some reasons why our accessibility would be limited.
- Connectivity issues or poor broadband can interrupt our online meeting. Those who live in areas with better connectivity will experience fewer restrictions.
- Many content platforms require paywalls or paid subscriptions for consumers to enjoy the premium features of their programs, so if you don’t have the money or are not willing to pay for streaming content, you’ll be limited only to free versions.
- Licensing or permission rights for certain content might not be available for your region or country, and this might limit your access to enjoying the same programs with your online relatives. Under situations like this, some users reach out for virtual private networks (VPN) to access some restricted sites and overcome censorship blocks.
Active engagement can sometimes turn passive as a result of boredom. When kid-safe videos or other programs are becoming boring, parents can introduce some interactivity to get children up and move.
Let’s get rid of passivity with creativity by planning ahead of time events and activities that will get the kids to unwind, putting them back in such a relaxed mood that triggers them back to a positive learning experience.
We’ve discussed that it has been like a beehive of activities in the children’s content creator space. The resulting content overload has provided numerous benefits that have been a win-win for parents, children, and content creators themselves.
However, the above benefits have not been without problems, in which case parents need to rise above board, employing smart parenting techniques to protect their kids from inappropriate content.
Regardless of how you look at all of this, the choices are there, and the content is pouring in, with more being uploaded daily.
So parents, be smart and continue to keep your kids safe online.