Is it OK for my kid to start her own YouTube channel?

It may seem foreign to parents, but for kids, video is a fun way to communicate. All the coolest apps -- Snapchat, Instagram, Musical.lyMessenger -- let users share video clips. So even though you may have concerns about the risks of broadcasting on the Web -- and they are legitimate -- your kid may see it as a way of expressing herself, learning digital video skills, sharing with friends, and experimenting creatively. It's important to balance your concerns with the benefits she can reap.

It's a good sign that she asked your permission. With your guidance and support, she can do it safely, and it might be a fun project that may be useful down the road. In fact, more and more kids are using their online channels -- whether it's a Tumblr blog, an Instagram photo collection, or a Snapchat story -- as digital portfolios to showcase their work to employers, colleges, and potential collaborators. YouTube even offers free educational content for creators who are serious about their work.

Your kid's age will determine how to proceed. YouTube is supposed to be for users over the age of 13, due to the fact that the parent company, Google, collects and markets user data. The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) exempts kids from data collection. But, as we all know, plenty of kids have YouTube channels. One of YouTube's biggest and highest-earning users is the child star of EvanTube.

It's not illegal for kids under 13 to create social media profiles on sites that collect user data so long as the parent is aware of the account, knows user data is being collected, and has approved the kid's account. (Learn five ways to keep kids safe on YouTube.)

Choose one of these options if your kid is under 13:

Use a parent's account. If you have Gmail, you have a YouTube log-in. Simply go to YouTube, log in with your Gmail address, and go to the account settings. Pay special attention to the upload defaults (where you can make your videos private) and the comments, which you can approve before they go live or turn off altogether. If you use your account, you'll do all the uploading, but your kid can still have lots of creative control in the design of the channel, the descriptions, and, of course, the videos.

Create a Family Link account. If you have an Android device, you can use Google's Family Link app that lets you create supervised account for kids under 13. Learn more about Family Link.  

Use a different website. YouTube is the most popular video site, but other good options offer built-in safety measures for kids. Consider one of these safe social sites

Here are some tips to set up teens for YouTube success:

Have a plan. Ask her to create a proposal for her channel that describes what she wants to offer, who the audience is, how often she'll post, whether she'll take advertising, and other considerations.

Talk about content. Now's a good time to discuss what's OK to post, what should remain private, and other basics of digital citizenship.

Do a "beta launch." Take a page from the book of many tech start-ups and start small to work out the kinks. Start with strict privacy settings and a limited audience of trusted friends and family, and ask for constructive feedback on what's working (and not working).

Check in. Once she's up and running, continue to support her. Unexpected issues -- both positive and negative -- are sure to come up. Knowing she can rely on your support is a big deal.

Handle feedback. Teens are often surprised to discover that not everything they upload receives universal praise. YouTube comments are notoriously harsh. But dealing with feedback is a learning experience. These tips can help you coach her through it.

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Comments

Kid, 12 years old

I think that a child should be able to set up a YouTube channel, in moderation from their parent. When I first set my channel up, my dad was pretty strict. I recommend patents use the hold comments for review feature, which e mails you every time you receive a comment, meaning your child cannot receive any hate comments. Also I wouldn't worry about SOME posting of private things, voice should be fine as should their face. They have no need for there real name to be said and saying your address speaks for itself. I'd say that you should water until your child has a good grasp on how to do YouTube (I had yo do a lot of pleading and looking up software) and be about 10 or up.
Teen, 13 years old written by aatidonte

Hey y'all!!! I started a YouTube channel when I passed 6th grade because I ain't have nothing better to do over the summer. On my "first" video, I got a comment talking about I was gay. But as I went on, the hate comments came to a suprising close. To be honest, YouTube isn't for everyone. If your child has thick skin and can let simple hate slide, go for it. But YouTube has some mean, creepy, racist, homophobic people on the platform. You gotta set boundaries for real. Hope this helped!!
Teen, 15 years old written by Common sense LST

if your kid is 13 or older it is most probably fine. just make your channel private, and nobody will really post hate comments on your youtube channel. and only certain people are allowed to watch your videos
Kid, 10 years old

I think that kids out there should be able to have a YouTube . I feel like having a YouTube account. but they have to remember that there social media footprint travels with them. I personally can't have one because my parents said no . But, having a Youtube account allows you to express your ideas . Don't be scared to ask your parents. You can always give an example like this. " Mom, if I have a musically account , how can't I have a Youtube account? " I show my face on both of them so what's the difference?" You can always use that example. That's just how I feel about this situation.
Kid, 10 years old

My mum says I can have a YT channel when i’m mature enough like what is she saying i’m 11 next month and 3 of my friends have YT channels.Who’s side r u on?
Kid, 12 years old

I have a neighbor who is 7 years old and he has his own YouTube channel, Nintendo Switch, iPad and Desktop computer. I don’t even have an email address yet, let alone a YouTube channel
Kid, 11 years old

If a child were to make a channel on a social media such as Twitch or YouTube, I personally believe this will help them in life, as they will learn about hardships such as cyber bullying and lack of growth and will learn to get through stuff. It is hard though, not a great idea for younger kids. I believe that most people will be aware of trolls, which usually consist of people who bully, spread fake information and waste time with stupid arguments, pretending to play dumb. There are different types of trolls, they are are trolls that annoy other trolls, then the ones that target younger children, the ones in games and the ones just making dumb jokes. These are the most common and the best option to deal with them is to ignore them or just block them. If they refuse to go, there is the option to fight fire with fire, but should be a last resort. Overall, yes. They should do this if they are either mature enough to deal with it or are over 10. Encourage your kid and watch their videos, but I think that overwhelming support with lots of comments may embarrass them.
Teen, 13 years old written by WhyEvenBother

If your kid can handle things like cyberbullying, cussing, and overall hate, then I'd say a yes. I would think that a YouTube account (for video posting) would probably be for 14 and up, but it would all depend on the kid's maturity, as well as other factors. They should beware of the trollers and haters, they can be annoying and rude. I have a mixed opinion on YouTube, but I would still overall say yes.
Teen, 15 years old written by Human being I am

Listen, I’m not trying to be discouraging. If you do decide to let him or her start their own channel I guess there is a chance that they will become popular. But in the nicest way possible, considering how many people are on YouTube, it’s not likely that many people would see your child. When I was younger my parents said I could start a YouTube channel but I had to show them the video before posting it. You could also turn off commenting to keep them from seeing possibly rude/ innapropriate comments. If I had a child then Id let them start one, as long as they listen to those rules, I hope that helps!
Kid, 10 years old

Yes, If you monitor their account from time to time. And make sure that their comments are disabled.
Teen, 13 years old written by aatidonte

There's a feature in the YouTube dashboard where you can block out certain comments. If you use that feature, you can still get most of your comments. Hope that helped!
Kid, 9 years old

I have a YouTube account and the only mean comments I get are from a mean girl in my school who used to be my friend, which is why she knows my YT. All the other people on the internet comment that I'm cute :3.
Kid, 11 years old

Hi. I REALLY REALLY REALLY want a YT account but my parents say that there are a lot of bad people on there and they won’t agree with anything I say. How do I get them to agree??
Teen, 17 years old written by turkeylips

no because they dont fully understand society and it can be very diferent on the internet especially at such a young age so i would reccomend no and just wait till theyre like 16-17 and they should be able to handle it themselves at that point
Teen, 13 years old written by strangerthingsl...

I made a YT account when I was 12 and personally it isn't anything bad. I post videos on it. I post DIY's and stuff like that. I would say the minimum age is 10/11.
Teen, 13 years old written by happyhat6

I’m not aloud to have one because of trollers, if you ask me, Im old enough to handle it and there’s restricted mode where you can hide comments.
Kid, 11 years old

I'm not allowed to have one because the minimum age is 13, but i think it should be ok. A yes from me.
Kid, 11 years old

I have several youtube channels. Yes, you will recive some hate, but never give up. Once you start getting around 100 subscribers it will get better and better. Never give up
Teen, 13 years old written by aatidonte

You gotta be careful what you use in your video. Once you get that copyright claim (not strike), you can't monetize your video at all. It's almost like they own the video (in which they do) because you used their copyrighted material without the proper paperwork. What I recommend is that if you are using music, make sure that it is royalty free. One channel on YouTube I recommend is NoCopyrightSounds. You can use their content as long as you give credit in the description of your video. Hope this helped!!
Kid, 12 years old

YouTube is the best thing that ever happened to me. I made a YouTube channel at 8 but didn't show my face until i was 10. I got a bit of hate but once you look past that it's a way of expressing yourself.Go for it!
Teen, 15 years old written by celestxna

Once you actually do start your channel, you will see some haters and people who won't really make you feel very good. But eventually you will have to realize that not everybody is going to like you because nobody in this world was born to be perfect. If you think that YouTube is what you want to do, stick to that task and don't let anyone ever change that. But if you do then, i suggest to not post daily or too many videos every week. maybe just do one or two videos a week, and stick to a content. Don't do random videos, like today your cooking and another day your playing video games. try to stick to one content.
Teen, 15 years old written by celestxna

For me I think that you should be ok having a Youtube channel at the age of 12 because, your gonna turn 13 and they say 13 is a good time to be famous and grow big. So start at 12 is good and when your 13 your channel might already be big. But for beginners I think that you should talk to your parents about it and tell them, what content your gonna make and see if they will agree or not.
Teen, 13 years old written by cc8

I think if a kid wants a YouTube channel, it's okay. Parents should have the right to set boundaries, though. I don't have a channel myself, but I've posted some videos through my dad's account. One of them had my face and name in it, and my parents were fine with it. Just remember that there's some messed-up stuff out there, so be careful.
Teen, 15 years old written by Brock_Kage99

I have a YT channel, and in my opinion, what's the point if you're just gonna have people you probably know watch it, You can just show it to them on your phone or whatever, DON'T REVOLVE YOUR CHANNEL AROUND PRIVATE AND UNLISTED VIDS!!! Yeah, there are some haters, but, you eventually realize, not everyone is one, make those people happy, instead of preventing haters, PARENTS!!!
Kid, 9 years old

I have a YouTube channel and it's all fine but beware once I got a comment that sent me to a Pornographic website so if you can disable comments
Kid, 10 years old

I was making my youtube channel, And i put my face on a video (unaware my mom hated this), Then she went after me, shut down the account and grounded me for a week, Who do you side with? Me? My mom?
Teen, 15 years old written by Human being I am

I mean if your mom didn’t tell you that you couldn’t have your face on YouTube then it doesn’t sound like it’s your fault. If she told you then she was probably mad at you for disobeying. It was probably just a misunderstanding though.
Kid, 11 years old

As a kid myself, having a youtube channel may be fun and you never know where you can go with it. But you need to bear in mind that there will be haters out there and concern that he/she making the channel is a child could make he/she more of a target. All I would say is to regularly monitor her channel and check the comment section. That is all I have gotta say. Thanks for reading this!
Kid, 12 years old

I have a channel, and I have made a cover of me singing rewrite the stars from the greatest showman, with my friend Mason it's not been successful, but is it ok since we're only 12?
Teen, 15 years old written by celestxna

yes it is okay, since your almost 13 and you can be 12 to have a Youtube channel, because it's a good start. When you reach the age of 13, you might have a lot of subscribers. because 13 is the age where they allow you to become famous so, yes it is ok for 12 year old's
Kid, 12 years old

Hi, i really want a YouTube Channel because i want to upload videos of myself singing a few cover songs. But my parents aren't letting me because it will include my name, age, face and stuff and because there are some problems since i'm only 12. They are concerned if my face and personal information is used for other things by other people. It's my dream to upload my singing because i love music. Do you have any advice please???
Kid, 11 years old

I would say to just sing without face cam and for the youtube video put in the audio of you singing and the lyrics of the song you are singing. Hope this helped a little!
Kid, 10 years old

Hi there, From reading about your situation, I believe what is best is to make a compromise with your parents. Is it absolutely necessary that you show your face in your cover videos, or can you have cool visual effects throughout the video? Will you have to display your real name and/or age publicly, or can you go under a stage name and just not reveal your age? You should discuss this with your parents. If your face and personal info aren't in your Youtube, then they can't be used by other people for suspicious activities. If your dream is really to sing, I say go ahead, as long as you have made some sort of agreement with your parents. Also, noting that you are 12 years old (as displayed by this website), you may or may not already know that Youtube officially requires official Youtube accounts to be owned by people of ages 13 or over. Of course, it is not illegal to have a channel if you are younger, but you may want to try and figure that out first! Hope this helps! I sincerely have faith in your dream!
Adult written by Kei T.

Hey there! Your parents concerns make sense, but I highly doubt it even be possible for someone to use your personal information like that at all. A lot of Adults think this is what constantly happens, but obviously doesn't. However you are young and it might be best for you to only record your voice and upload it without having a video of you with it. Maybe even use something like soundcloud instead of youtube. Also, your youtube account wouldn't have to include your name, age, face etc. just don't show those things and no one would know. But if your parents really don't want you to use youtube, then use what I said before, soundcloud. It's basically just sharing sound without video.
Kid, 10 years old

Hi, I want a YouTube channel Really Bad. I wanted one ever since I started Watching Youtube, which was when I was around 8 years old. I have my own Youtube account, but not a channel. You need to agree to Youtube’s Terms of service to make a channel and be able to comment on video’s. It’s not that my parents won’t let me get a channel, just I never got around to making a channel. I really want a channel and just because I’m a kid does not mean I can’t get a channel because kids like EvanTube is younger then me and he has a channel, so why Can’t I have one?
Teen, 14 years old written by Voicingspy03

Personally, I think it’s fine for teens to have a YouTube channel, not anyone under the age of 10 though. I am 14 and I run a YouTube channel, Voicingspy Vlogs, that is for teens (cuz I swear). My 6 year old cousin has an iPad, and all she does is watch YouTube videos. She goes on the actual YouTube site, and there can be some pretty inappropriate, and “scary” stuff on there. So if you want to let your kids on YouTube, please download the YouTube kids app..
Kid, 10 years old

When I was little I used to watch YouTube Video’s on my iPad, I was probably WAY to young, But I still liked watching YouTube. I agree that YouTube should be for Kids 10 and up, And they should be supervised with safety-mode on. I also agree that kids under 10 should have the YouTube kids app, but should still be supervised.
Kid, 11 years old

I’ve always wanted to start a YouTube channel, because, for me, it’s really fun to plan out everything, and it’s nice to accomplish something that others can enjoy, too, but I’ve never asked my parents, because I’m too afraid that they’ll say I’m too young, or that I don’t have enough time. That’s why I’m here. I find looking at these questions, answers, and comments fun. It’s all I can really do for now.
Kid, 12 years old

If you haven't asked your parents yet, don't be scared! Tell them why you want to have a YouTube channel, and make agreements with them! I have a dream of making a YouTube channel as well, and after asking my parents they're considering it! Good luck on your channel!
Kid, 12 years old

Thanks for this article! I've been considering a YouTube channel for several years now, but my mom has never allowed me to. I am one of the most lazy kids anyone will meet, so my mom told me that if I really wanted a YouTube channel, I would have to make a PowerPoint and present it to her. I did, using information from this article, and I will now get a YouTube channel when I get A's in all my classes. I have been wanting a YouTube channel since 7 years old, and I will never forget this article. Common sense media has changed my childhood for the better, even though it wouldn't let me play COD. Just kidding. Not really. ;')
Adult written by Monera

I had a YouTube channel once, but deleted it since I no longer felt comfortable with some of the content that I posted when I was younger. I thought it would be best to minimize my digital footprint before I got into college applications and job applications. None of my videos were "inappropriate" or anything controversial, but I thought it wouldn't be as a sophisticated image to present to colleges if I had YouTube videos up. I'd say there are plenty of really cool YouTube channels that are fun and completely appropriate and have become huge successes! Many can have different themes, like music, or even educational ones! It is what you make it to be, basically. Just use common sense and general internet safety and it should be fine. I'd advise to steer clear of profanity, controversial topics, negative criticism, and of course, provocative themes. Overall, It's perfectly fine if you keep it rated G.
Kid, 11 years old

I'm turning 12 this year so that means I'll be 13 next year! I just wanna know if its alright if kids over the age of 11-12 are allowed to make videos. I see 6-year-olds making videos so why shouldn't we? I know there is Kids React where kids make videos reacting to things so if your parent says its ok and watches over your channel are we allowed to make videos?
Kid, 9 years old

What about if we make GoAnimate grounded videos with characters like Caillou, Rosie, and Dora? Inappropriate?
Teen, 15 years old written by HarryPrice

I think that it is absolutely fine for a child that is under the age of 13 to create a YouTube channel but under 9 or 10 should be monitored: what they watch, what they search and the comments someone is posting in their comment section but other than that, they should be able to take criticism from people and still be up beat about their channel. : )
Teen, 13 years old written by Lolziekween

I think your child should have an account if they show signs of being mature enough (i.e. doing chores on time, doing things without you asking). If your child does get a channel, closely monitor her activity. Or you can let her user your account and monitor it that way.
Teen, 14 years old written by The_Unknown_User

I have been asking my parents for a Youtube for 3 years and Im 14 years old. I understand that parents want the best for there kid/kids and I really do respect that. Thats what most of our parents say, "I dont want you being put at risk" However I do think that Kids should get a chance at it and not just get a flat out NO! Give us 1 and only 1 to proove ourselvse worthy of a youtube.
Teen, 15 years old written by nog642

If they're at least 11 or 12 then it's fine. Make sure they're mature enough to handle criticism online. According to Google's policy, you're not allowed to make a YouTube account if you're under 13, but this policy is pretty much never enforced, so it doesn't really matter.
Adult written by Puky N.

While I am no expert, my child's experience with Youtube has been very rewarding. Before youtube he was shy and didn't get to connect as much to others because we no longer needed to take him to DayCare since I retired from the military. Being at the inbetween age of toddlerhood and Pre-K it was daunting for me as a father to come up with more activities for him to do other than being on a tablet watching other kids videos all day. So I decided to make what he watches a reality and casted him as the star (along with our doggies of course!) So now he seems more structured and feels a bit more connected to other kids and the best thing about it is that he sometimes sees himself on Youtube and on TV. Please let me know what you think or how I am doing by checking out the channel for yourself :) Puky Toys&Fun https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCw-tp8g49-vU_uVSFLYYhPA/featured
Kid, 11 years old

Actually, if you look up in the youtube terms of service, you will se that the minimum age is 13+ but you can upload if you are younger, as long as it's ok for their parents. Hope this helps.
Adult written by Grainne G.

It's not illegal for kids under 13 to create social media profiles on sites that collect user data so long as the parent is aware of the account, knows user data is being collected, and has approved the kid's account. ++++++++++++ Whilst it's not illegal some social media sites do not permit children under 13 to make accounts even with parental permission. If Facebook discovers your pre-teen has an account they will be banned.
Kid, 11 years old

I am 11 and I do Animal Jam videos! It's perfectly fine. My parents watch each video before I upload it
Parent of a 10 and 10 year old written by lisa B.

Thank you for that, my daughter is 10 and wants to start an account but I am a little nervous.. I will think again.
Parent written by Kristina K.

I think its a good idea. My kids watch them all the time, and they are very educational. Check out Willys Toys on YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgXtpdXslOo
Teen, 13 years old written by dance_is_life04

It would be wonderful for your kid to create a YouTube channel. It's an excellent way for her to get her creative juices flowing! It always forms acknowledgement of productivity and the prosperity and to set goals!
Aunt of a 16 year old written by Mike B.

Definitely, its OK! Own channel for a Kid is the perfect way to grow creativity...Do you remember your school theater? Youtube might be an everyday theater and way to talk to the world..But your should talk to kids about this, cause there is some danger_he/she might be too dependent on strangers and community opinion..all those Likes ans Share become an important part of kids life..but is communitys opinion about you really important..My kids are too small yet)) and we mostly prefer kids friendly channels like that) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHAvYKMLX5w and already thinking about creating our own show with kids and Im going to control that!
Adult written by Elishaba

First, I would question the reason behind the channel. If it is something that will be supervised and follows precautions to avoid predators it can be a great learning experience. I would also check the privacy settings. Never assume that the student/child understands online safety. This could be a great teachable moment. I would also suggest having your child take an online safety quizzes that Common Sense offers appropriate to her age level.
Teen, 17 years old written by MrsLevitan

I would follow these rules: 1) Don't give out name, age, address, or school name. 2) ALWAYS monitor her videos, and occasionally scroll through the comments for child predators. If you would like to, she is able to blur her face out on YouTube. I would also suggest turning on Safety Mode on YouTube.
Teen, 15 years old written by madiz_nitxk

I am 15 going to be 16 in April 2017 and I want to start a YouTube account I think My dad is okay but it is My mom who is spketical about it! As she was of me making a Disney store through Instagram and start my Disney pin collection and trading bus! Which o dropped btw. But have any suggestions???
Kid, 12 years old

My mom allows me on YouTube under these rules: 1. No saying my name or age.(I have a YouTube name). 2. No showing my face. 3. She's able to delete anything she wants. I admit, I HAVE seen weird stuff on YouTube, but with my mom, it's easier not to. I also share an account with her.
Adult written by Evan F.

Nobody can do anything at all to you by saying your first name and saying your age and they also can do nothing to you by showing your face and what kin of content does your mom delete of she deletes everything she doesn't like then your channel can't grow if all of your videos get deleted just act like your talking to somebody in person no extra risk
Adult written by Cyber Safety Lady

YouTubes terms of service have changed slightly. Between ages 13yrs and 18yrs you need parental consent, or be an emancipated Minor. They definitely do not allow under 13yr olds even with parents permission. I don't think it's a great idea to encourage parents to set up an account for their child to post videos if they are under 13 years of age, especially as YouTube specifically discourage it. Good comments on this in regard to using some of the available settings on YouTube, disabling comments. The dangers for younger kids signing up to YouTube are not just data collecting but also risks of seeing very adult content on YouTube even with the safe search option enabled, and being subjected to ridicule at a young impressionable age. Videos can be downloaded from YouTube or screen captured and reposted elsewhere. I recommend parents use one of the child friendly apps as suggested in this post. See YouTubes Terms Of Service Number "12. Ability to Accept Terms of Service. You affirm that you are either more than 18 years of age, or an emancipated minor, or possess legal parental or guardian consent, and are fully able and competent to enter into the terms, conditions, obligations, affirmations, representations, and warranties set forth in these Terms of Service, and to abide by and comply with these Terms of Service. In any case, you affirm that you are over the age of 13, as the Service is not intended for children under 13. If you are under 13 years of age, then please do not use the Service. There are lots of other great web sites for you. Talk to your parents about what sites are appropriate for you."
Teen, 15 years old written by madiz_nitxk

What do you suggest as a 15 year old who wants to do videos on YouTube? And what I can do to hide the under age stuff??!
Adult written by Jen H.

Well, I let my children have YouTube with no filters starting at 6 years old . This may outrage many parents but it really depends how mature and responsible your child is. There is many terrible things on the internet that are definitely not appropriate for children, but on the other hand they will see these things on the television , school and other things. You truly can't shield your children from simply, life. Just remember that they will see things out of social media and hear things that are worse than what YouTube will display.
Adult written by Evan F.

It's harder to grow your channel of there is to many things you can't do, have the same rules that you would have in a conversation and apply them to your videos there the same thing your talking they are listening they can talk back in the comments and you can talk back in the comments, would you refuse to tell somebody your first name if your having a conversation with somebody and if your talking to a stranger would you wear a mask and hide your face no you wouldn't but that's just my opinion.
Teen, 14 years old written by aves_zimmy

I would recommend it as a fun way for your child to express themselves! However, I would take the precautions of blocking comments, as they can be cruel, and turning off ratings, as a simple thumbs down could really hurt a kid's feelings. Using a shared account is a great idea if you want to keep tabs on her activity on YouTube, but she likely wants some freedom on her account. YouTube is used for self expression, after all!
Teen, 16 years old written by Silverfall

YouTube is a great way to express yourself and interact with people all around the globe, however as the authors response stated, people in the comment section can be exceptionally rude, so make sure your child is prepared for that. YouTube has a built in feature that allows content creators to block, delete, and blacklist users and words from their comments.
Teen, 15 years old written by madiz_nitxk

What do you suggest for a first Time YouTuber officially doing it and not backing out? I will be 16 in April of 2017 btw