My Daughter’s Love of YouTube

My daughter would lose her mind if I got a job at YouTube…

The statement above is nuanced with several connotations; multi-layered content. Cydney Milner is obsessed with YouTube. If I let her, she will sit and watch it for hours. She constantly asks for my phone so she can observe LOL Surprise Doll videos, how to make slime, and music from Descendants 2 several times, daily. I would tell my child to stop and read something. But at six, Cyd’s nose is in several chapter books at once (she reads on a fifth grade reading level) and has an advanced adult vocabulary because she reads herself to sleep every night (Reminder: you were supposed to write this post almost a year ago, Chad).

I let my daughter routinely watch the video streaming website because I can see her little mind work. She doesn’t observe solely for entertainment purposes, she is trying to figure YouTube out. I know my kid.

I blame myself or this: Cydney has a grasp on content creation. For years, she has been watching my every move from afar. I’m always on my phone checking social media and/or reading something. She knows that I am a writer and I mostly do so about parenting in some capacity or another; Cyd knows her dad is working when he’s on his laptop for an extended period of time.

By transitive property of the previous sentence, Cydney is aware she has a following and somehow lives on the internet. We will be out in public, run into friends from high school or college whom she’s never met and they will say to her “Cydney! I see you all the time on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram!” If I take pictures of her, she will quip “Is this going online?” on occasion.

For two years, the little girl I affectionately call “Child” is the owner of her own podcast, Cydney Being Cydney Podcast 20-13. We don’t have the time to record and she hounds me about it. She inquires “Daddy, when are we gonna record another podcast?”.

As of this summer, one of Cydney’s newest hobbies is to take her record herself on her tablet. Looking back, it eerily resembles my sister and I performing in front of our huge living room mirror like we were in concert. Cydney addresses the tablet’s monitor as if there is an audience on the other side tuning into whatever she has to say. When I watch the playback, I am pretty entertained.

Cydney is studying YouTube. With an attentive eye, she views topics of her interest and talk about it non-stop. For example, this little girl knows any and everything about LOL Surprise Dolls (Those EFFING DOLLS! That’s another post. She knows how in detail about each series, the names of each doll, their siblings, pets, how to turn them into Shopkins characters and what kind of clay/paint, and almost anything else. She knows all of the ingredients to make every kind of slime imaginable; knows the words to all of the music in Descendants 2 and has yet to see the movie yet…and I have to listen to it all (Note: this is another post topic, Chad).

The gradual evolution of Cydney’s obsession with the video service leads to self-insertion in the proverbial equation. The apple of my eye made her intentions very clear: She wants to be on YouTube.

I reply to Cydney “You’re already on YouTube,” in a matter-of-fact tone. I could see Cyd’s eyes light up with glee and excitement.

“Can I subscribe to your page Daddy?”

Cydney asks after each video. I let her know there is no need to do so because her videos are attached to my profile. Unhappy with the my page’s views and simple analytics, she comments “You have to get your likes up, Daddy,” and clicks the “thumbs up” image on each clip.

I know this is what Cydney wants to be on YouTube; but I have to sit back and let her have her own epiphany. I am learning to wait-or manipulate in some several instances-for people to have a “moment of clarity. People are more inclined to do as I others wish if and when they think it is their own idea.

Cydney is speaking her desires into existence. This may be one of the most important lessons I can teach my firstborn: speak something out of your mouth, study, execute, follow through, reassess, and repeat.

Last week, Cydney has her “aha” moment: Daddy, I can have my own YouTube channel!

With excited curiously, I reply “What would be on your channel?”

“I don’t know. Maybe me playing with my toys” she retorts with confident uncertainty.
I will sit back and wait until she has a little more of a clearer vision.

She now asks me for my phone not only to watch YouTube; she wants the camera to record herself playing with toys. After her first LOL Doll gift, she tells me I have to film the toy’s unravelment as she explains each and every little part; very much like her favorite thing to watch.

Maybe I should take a lesson from Cydney Milner and speak the first sentence of this piece into existence.

In the spirit of Cydney, I guess I should throw up a link here to her videos on YouTube.

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