A month ago several of our Youtube subscribers started sending us e-mails asking us to produce videos about growing up. It has been so surprising for us to have this young teen audience. Why on earth would they want to watch two 40-something women talk about life? In our highest viewed video we told "period" stories that has now logged over 3,000 views. Sure, that is nothing in the world of Youtube...but it is many thousands more than our other videos. It made us sit up and take notice.
Last week we filmed our first "Ask Mom Series" of 5 videos. We linked an e-mail account to it and asked girls to send in their questions. If you wonder why we were quiet on our blog last week...that is why! Getting that up and running and answering their questions by e-mail has taken some time.
Why are these girls turning to Youtube for this information? As young girls we talked to our girlfriends and moms. Embarrassment about "growing up" topics couldn't override our need to discuss, face to face with people, how to handle them. That isn't the case today. The natural tendency for teens to turn inward, share less, seek privacy, and start to think for themselves is then coupled with the internet that requires no intimacy. This makes it so much harder for us as parents to reach out to our kids. Our kids can get answers (ones we may or may not agree with) without ever asking us anything.
In our videos we answer the questions and encourage them to take that information and talk about it with a trusted adult. One girl said that she sent a text to her mom when she got her period because she just couldn't get the words out. Does that make your heart ache? It makes me want to step up the quality time I spend with my 12 year old. Since we started this project, my daughter and I have had a date every weekend. I'm just seeing more clearly how I need to be a bigger presence in her life.
The quality and vulgarity of what is available online is horrible. This young audience is so vulnerable and hungry for information. How does this make you feel? Do you have any ideas to help us meet these needs in our videos? What would you want your child to know if they found our video series? We would love your input.