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How YouTube is Turning British Kids American: The Quirky Side of Screen Time

Americanisation of UK kids.

As parents, we’re all familiar with the convenience of handing over a tablet for a bit of peace. YouTube is a favourite for entertaining kids and can be a great tool for making learning fun and interactive. But while it may be helping our kids brush up on their colours and counting, it also might be the reason for a few new words popping up in their vocabulary.

The American Accent Invasion via YouTube

Have you noticed your kids starting to sound a bit, American?

Sharing their experiences online, parents on TikTok are bemused by their child’s new choice of words. Suddenly, children as little as 2 are talking about ‘candy’ instead of sweets, not prams but ‘strollers’, and it’s ‘trash’, not rubbish!

With 239 million users (and counting), the USA has the second largest YouTube user base behind India. Paired with a rise in family-friendly YouTube channels based in the US, it’s not surprising that these common ‘Americanisms’ are seeping into our child’s vocab.

Digital Exposure and Cultural Shifts

Growing up in the 80’s, 90’s or even earlier, the US dominated the TV & Film industry, with many of our childhood favourites based across the pond. Fuelled further by the rise of Nickelodeon and Disney in the late 90’s early 00s, our fascination with American culture is nothing new!

But things have changed since then. Gone are the days when renting a film or DVD is a novelty. Kids these days are not rushing home to catch their favourite TV show in time. Children are consumed by different media and influence far more than we ever were. YouTube, Streaming and social media channels like TikTok are more accessible than ever.

Even American ‘holidays’ like Halloween and Valentine’s Day are taken more seriously in Britain than they once were – heavily influenced by American culture and tradition. But with easy access to what’s popular in the US, it’s no surprise kids want to feel included.

Navigating the New Digital Parenting Landscape

So as we navigate the digital world, should we be more concerned about the cultural differences our kids are picking up on? Could these subtle language changes affect our child’s performance in school? Is the urge to celebrate American Traditions adding more pressure on parents?

We’d love to hear what you think..?

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