06/08/2015 05:03 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

How YouTube Made Me a Better Parent

When my son Evan asks a question, he expects an answer and "maybe" or "I don't know" are not sufficient answers.

Give him those responses and it's an invitation to more and more questions. Here is a good example.

Evan: Where does the poopy go when we flush it?

Me: I don't know, through the drains to a wastewater treatment facility.

Evan: How does it get to the wastewater treatment facility?

Me: Through the drains.

Evan: What's in the drain?

Me: I don't know.

Evan: Is it dark in the drain?

Me: I'm pretty sure it's dark there.

Evan: What's in the drain?

Me: I just told you.

Evan: Is it dark in the drain?

My YouTube search: "Where does the poopy go when we flush it?"

Apparently my son isn't the only curious person to ask about where poop goes. The two videos I let him watch had well over 100,000 views each. Now, instead of asking where does the poopy go, Evan asks "can I watch the poopy video again?"

I first started using YouTube with him a few years ago to help him prepare for a visit to a drive-through Christmas light festival. He has a lot of anxiety over going someplace new and not knowing what to expect. We watched a few amateur videos other people took of the light festival so that when it was time for us to go he knew exactly what to expect.

The only thing the video didn't prepare us for was the massive traffic backups. Fortunately we had YouTube access on our phone so we watched the light festival videos way too many times until it was our turn to drive through the holiday light display.