The teenager’s public bedroom: How to talk to your kids about TikTok



Not so long ago, all children needed to feel like a pop star was their bedroom, a hairbrush (functioning as a microphone) and a few simple dance moves.

Nowadays, the stage is a lot bigger. TikTok, the video-sharing platform, is designed for short music videos and lip syncs that teenagers can share with with their friends – and the whole world.

And that’s exactly what parents are afraid of.

But should that be a reason for demonising the social network or even banning your child from taking part? No, says Kristin Langer. “It’s a good idea for parents to get involved and try out the app’s functions together with their child,” says the media coach at an initiative that helps parents support their children as they grow up alongside social media.

However, parents need to be prepared for discussions about TikTok’s settings, which can be set to either public or restricted mode. By the age of 12 (or earlier), teenagers no longer want to hide away and instead want to feel like a pop star and get recognition. They want more than just their friends or family to see their videos and posts.

To keep the rest of the world outside, parents might try the following: “How would you feel if this video of you was performed in the reception area of your school or in the town centre?”, suggests Langer. It wouldn’t just be seen by everyone, but total strangers could save it forever – just TikTok videos.

Another tip for parents is to find out what the child wants to achieve with their performances. Is it about copying pop stars or people they see on TV? This could also be done in a smaller group. Why not rehearse something for the next family gathering?

Or is it about becoming famous? TikTok stars like Dalia Mya, itsofficialmarco and Enyadres earn a lot of money as influencers and are given clothes and make-up for free.

“This is a welcome opportunity to research together with your child how much work being an influencer really involves. This includes finding out who actually makes the decisions when making a video,” suggests Kristin Langer. – dpa





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