Updated: Sep 24, 2020
I’ve previously talked about social media for children but I wanted to talk a bit about TikTok. Yes! the app causing so much controversy, Trump wants to ban it, and everyone else just can’t get enough of it. Whatever your view, it is the most popular entertainment app in the world, with more than a billion people using it and it’s no surprise why. It’s full of fun, trendy dances that kids can enjoy and it's packed full of educational, and inspirational videos for everyone. For me, TikTok has been one of the biggest winners during lockdown, helping to keep the kids occupied and the family entertained. I’ve given it a whirl and I can tell you it's incredibly compelling!
What Is TikTok Exactly?
It’s a social network app for creating and sharing user-generated videos. It first became popular for its lip-syncing videos but as the platform grew over time and more filters were added, dancing and comedy content has become incredibly popular, hence why kids love it so much. It's also a great way to engage with friends in an entertaining environment, however it does require monitoring.
The minimum age to use TikTok like most social apps is 13 years old, but there are lots of tweens that are using the app. My eldest falls in this category and has been using it to connect with his friends. It’s so important for parents to observe their kids' activity and set boundaries for using the app, which leads me on to my next point.
How to Be Safe On TikTok
TikTok recently added a new set of parental controls, called “Family Pairing” which enables parents to set usage limits for their kids. These features include controls for screen-time management, a restricted mode to limit content that may be considered inappropriate for children, switching the search functionality on or off and limiting direct messages.
To use this Family Pairing feature, parents need to have a TikTok account that they can link with their children’s account. Once the pairing is done, parents will be able to remotely control the privacy settings of their children’s TikTok account. Also, the kids will not be able to change back the controls set by parents without their approval.
To enable Family Pairing on TikTok, do the following: Go to your Profile page > Tap on three dots icon at the top right corner
> Then tap on Family Pairing.
TikTok will ask you, “Who is using this TikTok account?” and will offer you two options to choose from, ‘Parent’ and ‘Teen’. Select Parent and tap ‘Continue’. Your mobile screen will now display a QR code.
You then have to take your child’s phone, open their TikTok app, and follow the same steps. When you get to ‘Who is using this TikTok account’, select Teen, and scan the QR code displayed on your phone. Job done - you now have all the features to control your child's access.
I hope this helps you and your kids to experience this fun, immersive app in a safe environment. While it does have some questionable content, TikTok can be for kids and the whole family can enjoy it too.
Let us know your view.