What if my kid wants to be a YouTuber? I’ve had this on my mind for years, so let’s talk about it! Let’s chat about it in the comments…
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Become a YouTuber
What do you do if your kid says they want to be a YouTuber, content creator, or even a TikToker? I’ve had this topic kind of stewing in the back of my head for a very long time, for like a couple of years. I have a lot to say about it.
This blog is for you if you’re the type of parent who likes to notice your kid’s natural talents, interests, and innate abilities and skills. If you want to actually support them in finding ways to use those skills and interests and talents as they’re thinking about career paths and what they want to learn and study as they become adults in this world and need to make a living for themselves.
But if you’re the type of parent who wants to push your kid down a career path, because maybe that career is in demand, or it seems like you could make a whole bunch of money doing this and it’s going to be really prestigious, then this blog is probably not for you.
How I Got Into YouTube
I graduated from high school in the year 2000. I remember every time I went into the guidance counselor’s office, there was this bookshelf that was floor to ceiling of books, like career encyclopedias. You could open up these books and just look up careers. It would tell you about what the career did and what was required in terms of degrees.
It also tells you about the median salary and whether this was an in-demand job or not. I remember looking through there and seeing plumbing in demand. I remember thinking, “Yeah, but what if you don’t want to be a plumber? What if all the jobs in demand are things that you’re not even interested in?”
Don’t get me wrong, of course you don’t want to study something or set out to have a career that there is zero demand for. But I do think that it is possible. I know that it is possible to take interests, passions, innate abilities, and skills that somebody has as a young person and fit them in with in-demand career paths.
The reason why I say that is because when I graduated from high school, those encyclopedias of careers, didn’t list YouTube. It didn’t list content creation, didn’t list blogging, didn’t list working with brands, influencer marketing, or TikTok. None of the things that I do in my business right now existed when I was in high school. This is one of the reasons why I feel really passionate about this topic. Because careers are created all the time.
What Is A YouTube Career?
If your kid says, “Oh, I want to be a YouTuber,” maybe when they grow up, YouTube doesn’t even exist. Maybe TikTok doesn’t exist, but something else exists. And if they have the desire, the interest now, steer them in that direction so that they can evolve with the industry. So when your kid says, I want to be a YouTuber, what they’re really talking about is content creation. And that is a career.
It could be a career where you work for yourself, like me, or it could be a career where you create content. That’s your job, you do that for your employer, you’re working in the marketing department, or the sales department, it’s a real job. It’s one of the only career paths out there that a kid can start doing. You can actually do the thing, do the actual career. Before you even leave high school, before you even get into high school.
I think what happens because I see this, and I hear this, and I’ve had my own kid come home from school and reiterate what a teacher told them that you’ll never be able to be a YouTuber and make money doing that. I know that there are people my age and older, especially those who think that’s crazy. That’s wild. How could you ever do that?
It Is Not As “Simple” As You May Think
How could you ever be successful? I mean, the worst thing you could possibly do to a kid is give them reasons why the thing they want to do when they grow up is impossible for them. Right? I mean, why would you do that? That’s a whole complete rant that I’m not gonna go down, so I’ll save that for a whole other blog post.
My point is, I think it’s hard for people to see the different components of content creation, as being worthy endeavors and worthy career paths. They just think you make a video, upload it to YouTube, and that’s the whole thing. But that’s really not it. It’s one part art. It’s one part science. YouTube is run by an entire algorithm. What do you think that is? It’s math, science, technology, and business. It’s all of those things wrapped up in one really fun, really exciting, and yes, really in-demand career path.
Ask Your Children, “Why?”
So how can you support your middle school or high school-aged kid or even elementary-aged kid who says “I want to be a YouTuber when I grow up?” I think you should ask them why? What is it about that sounds interesting and fun to you? There are many answers that they can give you but really dig deep into “why.”
Is it the technical aspect? Do you want to use cameras? Is there a passion for videography? Do you like editing? Do you like software? Is it that aspect that you really like in this creation? Do you like writing stories? Is it creating scripts? Do you like doing storyboarding? Those are three different kinds of components of areas where you could support a kid based on what they’re interested in.
Now, my 11-year-old says she wants to be a YouTuber. So what she has done is figured out how to edit them. She was using CapCut to edit her videos. And then, I started using CapCut to edit my short-form videos, my YouTube shorts, and things like that. And we both, at the same time, realized you use CapCut. I use CapCut. She’s tried a bunch of different editors on her iPad.
Just the other day, I noticed her doing something on my laptop. She showed it to me, and she made an animation, a Roblox animation. It was animation software, which, if you’ve ever created a video, is nothing compared to animation software, nothing. And she’s in there, like moving keyframes and making this little thing animate.
I’m like, how do you know how to use the animation software? Like, you’re 11. She said, I don’t know, I just did it. I know that supporting her in being creative with editing, and creating digital stuff is going to be beneficial to her because she’s interested in it. She has some kind of innate ability and skill. Whereas if she had started storyboarding, like a little short film or something, I would know she’s interested in the scripting aspect of creating videos. Then you could steer your kid in that direction.
Have Your Children “Actually” Do It
Know how to support them as they get older and as they get further along in their education. The second thing I would say is to have them ACTUALLY do it. If they want to be a YouTuber when they grow up, they can be a YouTuber. Now they can create videos and not even upload them to YouTube. They can still create videos if you’re worried about it being posted somewhere. They can create videos that only you can see or even only their friends can see. Creating videos is a skill and a process that they can learn and develop on their own.
We give our kids paper and crayons as soon as they can hold a crayon. We get a piece of paper in front of them, and it’s no different with creating digital art and videos. So that’s number two, have them do it, encourage them to do it. If they need your help figuring out an idea or a project, help them with that. Let you be the audience for them. Be excited to watch what they create.
Research Different Related Courses, Programs, or Courses
The third thing I would say is when they get to high school, or they start looking at colleges to choose a degree program, video production, video editing, graphic design, storytelling, creative writing, audio production, communications, graphic communications, business, and marketing are all great areas of study that they could be looking at.
I mean, all of them, ideally. As a content creator, I use all of those things. And I know we get kind of stuck in our brains. I think we’re kind of trained as a society like, “Oh, you want to do this as a career? Oh, well, you should go to college and study this. This should be your major.” It’s really not that black and white for content creation at all.
Because you could get a degree in content creation and still be really bad at what you do and have no hireable skills. Anyone who will hire you to create, shoot, edit, or be in videos will want to see the work you have done, right? And so that’s why point number two was to have them actually do it because there’s no reason at all why any company hiring for this type of job would need to see a degree.
Does a degree show that this person can show up to things, do the work, accomplish something, and accomplish big goals? Yes, of course. But the degree does not show that they can do the work that the degree says they can do. The work that they’ve done is what shows that they can do the work they say they can do. So what do you do if your kid says they want to become a YouTuber? Take it seriously. It’s a real career path.
Ask them why they want to do that so that you can support them in the direction they say they’re interested in. Number two, have them do it, encourage them to do it, give them the tools and the support to do it, and be their first audience. And number three, know what courses, programs, topics, or majors they should be looking at in high school and college if they choose to go to college. So that what they’re learning pertains to what they want to do. I mean, that sounds kind of like a no-brainer, but it’s kind of hard to know what direction to send kids down.
If you have any questions for me or if you have anything to add to this conversation, if you’re a teacher, an educator, or a guidance counselor, hit me up in the comments. I would love to hear your opinion on this as a parent and as a content creator.