My Daughter Wants to Start A YouTube Channel. Tssseeewwww….

No.
Nope.
We said “You can NOT!”
Ok, then tell me why.
I’ll think about it.
Make a list of all the items you’ll need to make a YouTube channel successful. We’ll go from there.
Yes. That means you can have a YouTube channel.

This is the story of how my pre-teen goaded me into permitting the creation of her very own YouTube Channel. The name of said channel has not yet been decided on, but I’m sure it will be very Nadjah-centered. I have no idea why this girl is dead set on making a spectacle of herself, but I also don’t understand how suspension bridges work. Some things just are. I have had the whole summer and part of the winter to consider her entreaty, and it is with shame that I admit to you that the only reason I am honoring her request is because I have succumbed to fear. Fear that one day, she’ll be laying on some shrink’s sofa – or worse, swinging around some septuagenarian millionaire’s pole – purging her soul of the pain and disappointment of never becoming the next Ava DuVernay because her mom forbade the creation of a YouTube channel.

The struggle couldn’t be more real.

My daughter is very cunning. I have to admit, I’m very proud of the way she manipulated me into getting what she wanted. Knowing that I am hardly moved by any melancholy she may display (because what moody 11 year old isn’t melancholy about something), she enlisted the support of her younger, sweeter sister whom I cannot bear to see upset. Aya, though the second of four, is my baby. So when Aya asked if she could be on Nadjah’s YouTube channel “if you say yes, Mommy”, I was further motivated to acquiesce. In time, Nadjah even went as far as to suggest that Stone and Liya participate in the production of their skits. Armed with the knowledge that she will get more out of me if she makes it a point to include her siblings in a project, she released this arrow and shattered the target. And that is how we went from a stern “No!” to a placid “Okay… make a list”.

Unlike my firstborn, who is so like me in myriad ways, I am not naïve about what it means to be on YouTube. I have a YouTube channel – a very poorly maintained YouTube channel – and it is sometimes a hotbed for vitriol and disparagement. You’re letting the global public view and pass judgment on your content. The same goes for my blog. Part of the reason you see so few comments here  on M.O.M. is because now that it’s been active for six years, I don’t feel the need to allow just any old comment on the page. I don’t crave the public’s approval. Did you know that most of the comments come from Random Readers… and that those comments typically go to spam or the trash? Random readers don’t understand M.O.M., and they are  after all, just passersby and yet are responsible for the worst comments on the site. I used to devote hours explaining myself, locking horns or trading barbs with these strangers. No more. My dedicated audience is largely silent, and I’m okay with that.

But my 11 year old… ahhh, that’s a different kettle of fish. Because she is an active participant on other kid YouTube channels and ALWAYS leaves nice comments, she’ll be looking for that in return. She’ll be looking for approval from strangers and THAT we cannot have. That’s why although I’m allowing her to have a channel, it will be private. It will be as airtight as Fort Knox. No one gets in without a pass code. No comment gets approved without me or her father approving it first. I know this will make her incredibly unhappy as she has often gabbed about the thousands of subscribers she hopes to garner, but she will deal.

Humph. These people. I have just recalled the list. Are you curious about what she’s put on it? Look at this:
• USB microphone
• Camera and lenses (maybe waterproof)
• Slider
• Tripod
• Crane
• Lights (maybe)
• Boom mic
• Computer with editing program
• iMovie
• Capture card
• Editing software
• PC
• Screen recorder
• Very good computer
• Black wig

IMG_0349

You are laughing. Stop laughing! Somebody’s child in Detroit just wants a warm bath for the winter, and my child wants a waterproof camera to go and do what? To go and film what? Does she think she is Jacques-Yves Cousteau? Ahnba!

If I purchase ANY one thing on this list, they will officially strip me of my African Mother title. They won’t even let me stand at the gate for the African Mother of the Year Awards ceremony. They will tell me to sit in the house and eat toast and beans, since I want to behave like a UK woman and indulge First World Problem nonsense.

I have no witty conclusion for this post today, no epiphany or insights to share; only a sincere request that you all pray for me and mine. However, if you are in possession of any one of the items on this list and are purging/upgrading your hardware this Christmas/Kwanzaa/Hanukkah/Festivus, feel free to holla at a sista. I think I can handle the black wig. Don’t send any used wigs to my house.

Have your kids ever asked you to participate in a venture that have you pause or caused you concern? How did you handle it? Tell!

 

People frequently want to know when I am going to write a book. I’ve written four. You can check out your new favorite titles (with more to come, Netflix and God willing) by clicking this link right here. Go on. It’s easy! See? *CLICK*

 

 

  • Nana Ama

    Akan people have a saying: A crab does not give birth to a bird. I am convinced Nadjah is God paying you back for all the wahala you caused your parents!:) On the other hand, you may be nurturing a very talented filmmaker who will make you very proud. Good that you can afford the black wig, at least:) I am rather mystified about that request, a black wig?

    • It was so random. And I typed her list EXACTLY as she printed it on paper!

      On a separate notes, I was good and kind to my parents. I don’t know what this wahala you speak of is!

  • A-Dub

    Good and kind!!!!!!! ??????? The h$ll you say! And your first sentence says it all… She wants to make a spectacle of herself because she sees you doing it in a daily basis….. Good and kind…. Chakai