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Am I Turning into a “Hobby Kids TV” Parent?

If you have young children and  you happen to be ahem less than excellent parent, chances are, you are familiar with Hobby Kids TV YouTube channel. Let me tell you, this thing has become my number one free babysitter over the summer. The kids love it. And not just mine, the channel has close to 3 million subscribers. I’m certain the Hobby Kids TV parents are clearing at least six figures per year through this little project.

As expected, the version of family life they present on YouTube is prettied up and sterilized. Nobody ever argues, and kids never get cranky. And why would they? Toy companies and businesses constantly give them free stuff and free admission to various parks. Of course, the parents (and kids, for that matter) work their tails off and it shows. The videos are professional quality and very entertaining.

They even make mundane stuff seem exciting. The other day my daughter came up to me and said that Hobby Kids went to the dentist and the office was full of cool toys. She then proceeded to complain about the fact that our dentist only has puzzles. Oh really?

So here is what I told her:

“In my day, back when I was growing up in Soviet Union, you were lucky to get your teeth fixed at all. You had to go to state-owned clinic early in the morning and get a ticket that would assure your spot that day. No ticket=no fixed tooth. It sure would have been nice to have puzzles in the waiting room. You know what else would have been nice? A numbing medicine!

Oh yes, that’s right, I could feel excruciating pain while the dentist was drilling the tooth. That’s why I avoided them like a plague and why I have so many dental problems today (according to my current American dentist.). The one who only has puzzles in his office.”

I don’t think my kids have a clue on  just how fortunate they are. Obviously, I want them to be happy and entertained, to have things  I didn’t have when I was young. Travel is one of those things.  I try to occasionally treat them to stays in upscale,  amenity-rich resorts, though apparently, that can be a double-edged sword. My kids, who used to be happy anywhere, now ask me which brand we will be staying at. If it’s not Hyatt, there comes the eyeroll. Oh no you didn’t!

That’s why I like to mix things up and add less fancy trips during the year. Plus, I’m cheap, so it comes naturally. Next March my parents will be visiting us in Florida over spring break.  We plan to stay in IHG property as well as Wyndham motel on the beach. Yes, a motel, because it was the best deal on points. If the kids don’t like it, tough.

Did you see the post on the South Pacific trip I hope to pull off next year? I’m planning on visiting Tahiti without the kids. It’s a bummer because I would love to have them with us. Unfortunately, schedule-wise, it’s not an option since my sister-in-law wants to spend extra time in New Zealand and Australia. And she insists on having the kids with her. But they are planning to add a stopover in Fiji, which should be fun.

Apparently,  it’s not good enough because my daughter started complaining how she would love to stay in an  overwater bungalow. Well, the truth is, I would love that too. In fact, I started feeling really guilty. But then it dawned on me, at her age all I did over the summer was take a train to a nearby town in Belarus, to visit relatives. Oh boy, now I sound like a crotchety old woman. Next time a troll stops by to comment, I plan to tell him/her to  GET OFF MY LAWN!!!

Anyway, I told her it’s not fair that I don’t get to visit Fiji, and we are done discussing it. It’s a tough balance, for sure. At what point there is just too much of  a good thing when it comes to travel? Am I spoiling the kids and making them think that staying in a $1,300 per night  presidential suite at a Hyatt resort is normal? Because it’s not. Neither is going to Australia and Fiji when you are 10 years old.

Sure, I can only do most of these things thanks to miles and points, plus occasional elite status matches, but my kids can’t grasp that concept.

Am I presenting a version of life where things come easy, and you don’t have to work that hard for them? The sterilized and prettied up version? Or am I overthinking this whole thing?


Author: Leana

Leana is the owner and founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.

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8 thoughts on “Am I Turning into a “Hobby Kids TV” Parent?

  1. My opinion – you’re over-thinking some. Do what works for you. As your kids grow up, hopefully they’re going to learn excellent credit management skills from you (right?!?) as well as how to do travel hacking. How could they not? At least, as long as you teach them the skills and not expect them to learn it by osmosis. 😉 Then they can keep up the habit however they want to.

    • Tscateh, I think you are right! I’m a habitual overthinker. 🙂 Before I got into blogging, I just worked through the thoughts in my own head. I also made my husband listed to my drivel, though eventually he started to tune it all out. Now I unload my insecurities on the poor strangers on the internet! So my apologies for that.
      But yes, I hope to raise my kids to be well-adjusted adults who appreciate what they have and don’t take any of it for granted. But for now, they are just kids. They prefer Hyatt resorts, so that’s what they will be asking for.

  2. I have never heard of Hobby Kids on youtube, and now I’m afraid to ask my kids about it. I know what you mean about spoiling the kids…I always tell mine that we’re only staying at this X hotel because of our points and that there is absolutely no way we could possibly afford it (ie Fairmont Suite @ San Francisco and Grand Hyatt Kauai this summer).

    I feel like I’m making up for lost time with traveling since we were so poor growing up, but I feel that it’s important for my family to visit new cities and experience new things. I constantly remind the kids how fortunate they are and hopefully one day, they’ll appreciate the roadtrips, airplanes, trains, and cruises.

    • @Stephanie You don’t want to discover the crazy world of Hobby Kids TV. Stay away! 🙂 I agree with you. I also grew up poor, so I know what you mean about making up for lost time.
      It’s very nice to experience fancy things that are out of reach without miles and points. I was downright giddy when we got upgraded to that presidential suite. I don’t think it’s worth the cash rate, but it sure is worth the Hyatt points I used. That’s why I don’t think anyone should ever apologize for the way they travel. It’s their money/points. They can use them in whatever manner they like.
      I don’t want my kids to expect/demand certain hotel brands and experiences. We stay where I can get the best deal. Sometimes it’s Hyatt, and other times it’s a motel on the beach.

  3. I don’t think my kids have discovered that YouTube channel, thank goodness! I also think my kids are spoiled when it comes to travel. They have no clue that other kids don’t travel as much as we do.

    • @Nancy I’m starting to think we are a weird family! Well, us and the other three million subscribers. 🙂 Its kind of like how I assume that everyone knows about miles and points. Definitely not the case! This is a niche within niche, for sure.
      But the show is kind of annoying and they have a lot of bathroom jokes, which of course, my kids find hilarious. But it’s pretty innocent, which is not something I can say about most TV shows these days.

  4. Leana,
    I think about this all the time. My son is only 4 and for him an airport lounge is the way to go. Free snacks, free wifi e a comfy chair. Hotels for him are Hyatt’s with nice views and amazing swimming pools. I always mention how thankful I am for miles an points, but I think I need to start add some motels in our travel plans so my son can have a reality check 🙂
    BTW. I just deleted YouTube Kids. My son watched over and over Ryan’s toy review. Great babysitter, but it was turning my son into a whinny toddler begging for Starbucks and new toys all the time.
    Have a nice holiday.

    • @Tania I’m seriously thinking about deleting YouTube Kids. It drives me nuts too! And yes, my kids love toy reviews as well which in turn, makes them beg for various expensive trinkets. Not good.
      As far as trips go, I think it’s hard for most parents to maintain balance. As miles and points folks, we have access to some fancy options. But to be clear, I’m not suggesting you should stay in motels just to prove a point. We are going next year because it happened to be the best deal for where we need to be at. And it’s supposedly a nice motel, right on the beach. So not exactly slumming it! I just hope my kids don’t complain about it, because that will drive me bananas. But I know my mom will love it, she is a simple gal.

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