tiktok parenting

Common Mistakes Most Parents Make with TikTok

You’d be surprised how many parents out there have no clue what apps are downloaded on their teen’s phones and what they’re doing with those apps. TikTok is no different. This popular app has already set all kinds of download and usage records among young people and shows zero signs of slowing down. It has disrupted markets, has changed the way we view media, and has forced other social apps to rethink the way they present media. Where do you as a parent fit in all of this? Are you behind the curve with this new social phenomenon? Do you teens have TikTok? Are you making some of the most popular mistakes when it comes to parenting TikTok? We’ve put together a quick list of the common mistakes parents are making when it comes to TikTok.

Common Mistakes Most Parents Make With TikTok

First off: Don’t panic. Mistakes are just disguised opportunities to learn. And despite what others would have you believe, making a mistake here or there is not going to ruin your teen’s life. There’s a lot of research out there on the impact of technology and apps on our teens’ lives. We’re certainly not dismissing that science or trying to undermine its purpose. But we’re definitely not buying into the doom-and-gloom nature some of these organizations seem to really peddle. We sometimes make rash decisions based on fear.

At DDID, we want to instill hope for the world, especially where technology is involved. However, there are mistakes being made out there by a lot of parents. We’ve experienced it. We’ve all seen the parent who just lets their kid stream and play with apps for hours and hours. It might be one of you reading this right now. This is a judgment-free zone. We’re all here to learn how to maneuver and exist in this crazy world of technology and families.

Here are some common mistakes many of us parents make with TikTok:

Ignoring Your Teens TikTok Media Habits

You’re not doing anyone any favors by just ignoring or being lazy about what your teen is doing on TikTok.The Laissez-Faire approach to parenting teens in a tech world is not an effective approach, but unfortunately, it is the most adopted style because it is easy. Do not ignore what your teen is doing on TikTok or online in general. Be involved. Find a way to have shared experiences with your teen and this popular app. Who knows? You might discover something on there you can use to help you with parenting 😉

Ruling With An Iron(Man) Fist

On the flip side of just completely ignoring what your teen is doing on TikTok, putting up an iron dome around your family where no technology, no phones, no tablets, no apps, no streaming services, etc. is quite possibly equally worse than being completely hands-off. Remember the goal: Teach them healthy media habits. Teach them how technology, and TikTok for that matter, can empower their lives. Completely cutting them off from the world of tech and innovation can actually have a negative effect on things like their careers, education, and yes…their social lives. We’ve seen instances where teens without phones are left out of social circles and activities. Furthermore, once they do leave the nest they will have this technology in their palms. Having tech habits established early on in their lives will benefit them so much! It is important for them to have that exposure so they can put technology in its place.

Never Talking About The Emotional Response They Feel

Emotions are important. How we respond to things we see, hear, and say on TikTok will shape the path which lies in front of us. Granted, being aware of our emotions is hard for adults, even harder for teens, but teaching them little mindfulness hacks can help lay the groundwork for healthy emotional intelligence down the road. This is a much-needed skill in this tech-crazy world. Sadly, many of the apps and devices we use can create really unhealthy emotional creatures (we call them trolls on social media). They create trolls in our physical lives too. Nobody wants a troll for a teen. Teaching our teens to be mindful while using TikTok can help prevent that. Here are a handful of questions to keep in your back pocket when having conversations with your teen: How did you feel inside while using TikTok or watching that video? Are you aware of how long you have used TikTok today? Did you see anything today that made you upset? Wanna talk about it? Are you being you when you engage with TikTok?

TikTok Can Be A Great Opportunity…

Again…parenting in a tech world is not easy. It’s not impossible though. Many of us simply don’t want to try because we don’t know how to do it. And simply expecting monitoring apps to do all the parenting work for us is not an effective approach. Are these apps useful? Definitely. Should we only rely on them to do all the parenting? Definitely not.

Technology and TikTok is an opportunity to teach kids and teens about discipline and self-governance. As much as some of us would hate to admit, one day our teens will be gone. They’ll be out of the house creating families and experiences of their own. They will no longer live in the confines of our homes. Are we equipping them with good skills and habits for when the training wheels of life come off? What wisdom are we leaving with them in this world? No pressure, but how we parent through this moment of our teen’s life will influence their lives down the road when we’re not there. Be involved. Have conversations. Teach them the value of technology, apps, and how it can really change the world for good.

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