As with many social media apps, the minimum age for users on TikTok is 13. However, it is evident that a significant number of children within our School community are regularly using the app, evidenced, amongst other ways, by the number of dances that are being repeated in the corridors and on the playground. Ultimately, parents will be the arbiters of their children’s social media presence, but if you have made the decision to allow your children to use TikTok, you may be interested in their self-produced guide to the safety measures that are available and how they can be put in place by parents.
Limiting screen time and having oversight of the content that the children are being exposed to are the two main concerns of parents when their children take their first steps into the digital world. There are a number of websites that can help. Common Sense Media is a great place to start. Their articles can be sorted by children’s age, content or specific app and are all full of useful tips and key points as we help the children navigate this online journey.
In School, the children learn about keeping themselves safe online, with a ‘little and often’ approach used to instil these critical habits. We also have Safer Internet Day approaching on 7th February, with a week of activities and lessons themed around how to stay safe online, and what to do if and when concerns arise. Needless to say, these messages are infinitely more powerful when they are reinforced at home, through both conversations with parents and decisions about where devices live and when they might be accessible.
As ever, if you have any questions or would like some advice about supporting your children, do get in touch with your child’s form teacher or with Mr Watkins, who would only be too happy to help.