Loann Kaji, parent of Ryan Kaji, the star of YouTube’s Ryan’s World, shares her insights on the unique challenges of raising a famous child YouTuber; emphasizing the importance of “boundaries and realistic expectations”, she offers valuable advice to parents whose children have similar aspirations for the spotlight.
As the star of channels Ryan’s World and Kaji Family, 10-year-old Ryan Kaji commands the attention of more than 40 million subscribers, regardless of whether he is performing science experiments, starring in skits, or engaging in a little bit of make-believe play. Ryan, who has been on YouTube since he was four years old, is undoubtedly one of the most popular children on the site. The elementary student also contributes to the Nick Jr. program Ryan’s Mystery Playdate.
Behind any highly successful YouTuber lies, of course, a full, incredibly supportive family: mother Loann, father Shion, and identical twin sisters Emma and Kate.
Recently, Loann Kaji spoke with Parents.com about raising Ryan and what she hopes other parents understood about children and YouTube fame.
Created for the Spotlight
Loann recalls that Ryan displayed an early fondness for the spotlight. And while the family never expected Ryan’s YouTube channel to be more than “a delightful family hobby,” Loann recalls a specific “a-ha” moment when she discovered how much her kid enjoys entertaining others.
“We collaborated with YouTube for a live event with Kevin Durant,” she explains, adding that Ryan and the NBA star conducted a science experiment. Because we were generating YouTube videos for fun at home, this was Ryan’s first experience doing anything similar.
Kaji continues, “Following the event, Ryan remarked he had so much fun and would love to participate in such events in the future.”
That’s when the mother noticed that her outgoing son was interested in being on camera regularly.
Donating With YouTube Fame
Loann is happy that her son has discovered a creative outlet he enjoys so much. “Making YouTube videos was a fantastic method for Ryan to gain self-assurance and express himself creatively,” she says.
She is also thrilled that he can utilize his platform for good. Kaji exclaims, “I’m pleased to learn that Ryan has had such a wonderful influence on so many children around the world.” “We started YouTube as a means to do something enjoyable together and utilize it as a tool for our family outside the nation to see Ryan. We could not anticipate the magnitude of our videos’ impact.”
One of the most rewarding ways they’ve been able to make an effect throughout the years has been by partnering with other NGOs. Kaji has a strong affinity for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. “We feel extremely fortunate to have participated,” she says, noting that Ryan finds it incredibly fulfilling to see fans going through difficult circumstances.
Kaji exclaims, “It’s incredible to watch how much Ryan brightens children’s days by spending time with them, playing games at Dave & Buster’s, or just hanging out and having a playdate over Zoom.” “Such a wonderful bonding experience will help Ryan mature into a compassionate adult and motivate him to positively impact and contribute to his community on an ongoing basis.”
With a recent relationship with the Starlight Children’s Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to giving happiness to children in hospitals, the family has also begun designing personalized, comfortable hospital gowns for children. In addition, they delivered entertaining, educational video games, activity kits, and toys to youngsters at a hospital near their Hawaii home. “When we create videos, we cannot see our followers through the screen,” the pleased mother explained. It was an honor to be able to visit them in person and see their joy and smiles.
Learning an Essential Self-Care Lesson
As parents of a YouTube sensation, Loann and her husband Shion are always juggling many responsibilities due to the abundance of responsibilities they currently face. She continues, “My husband works full-time for the Ryan’s World brand; he attends all meetings, approves designs, plans future initiatives, etc.” “While I also contribute to the Ryan’s World brand, I am able to spend more time on my family’s homework, housework, lessons, and family bonding activities.”
Kaji’s health has recently become a concern as a result of managing her son’s job and other elements of family life while, at times, having a too full plate. She admits that she has not always been adept at taking care of herself.
She had skipped annual checkups throughout the previous years. According to Kaji, self-care appeared to be a lower priority than caring for others. In addition, she required emergency surgery for an ovarian cyst last summer.
She says, “I knew I needed to make a change and start taking care of myself.” While my husband brings the children to school during the school year, I focus on my health. She uses this time to go to the gym, stroll, or hike.
Kaji sets a positive example for her children by caring for herself better. She says that this entails engaging in plenty of outdoor activities and consuming nutritious, balanced meals. “How can I expect my children to exercise and eat better if I am not doing the same?”
Advice for Parents Whose Children Want the Spotlight
Kaji’s best piece of advice for parents whose children may be interested in creating their own YouTube channel is to “create boundaries and reasonable expectations” with their children.
According to the mother of three, a weekly limit of a few hours is imposed on the family’s filming activities. Also, we place emphasis on Ryan’s extracurricular activities and education.
Ryan will therefore attend sleepaway camp this summer. Loann explains that he will be surrounded by children his age from various backgrounds and throughout the country.
And while she is aware of the challenges Ryan’s popularity could entail, Loann needs to be convinced. “He is, for the most part, experiencing a normal childhood,” she explains. “He spends most of his time going to school, having playdates, hanging out with family and playing board games, playing online games with his pals, and engaging in outdoor activities such as visiting the park and beach.” She believes he may feel pressure to be a positive role model for other children.
Ultimately, Sarah and Shion are devoted to managing Ryan’s job and upbringing, a strategy they encourage to parents of camera-obsessed children.
And regardless of whether YouTube celebrity works out, or even if it does, like in the instance of Ryan, Kaji feels that the most important thing for children is to be allowed to be children and to be their actual, authentic selves.
Meaningful articles you might like: How to Foster Your Child’s Imagination and Creativity, Ways To Help Your Middle Schooler Succeed, Helping Your Child Succeed In Elementary School