Video for Parents:

Colorado's 17th Judicial District's Response to the Troubling Tik Tok Challenge Trend


Talk about it!

1. Do not assume because your child is young, does not have a phone, or is not on Tik Tok so you do not need to talk to them about Tik Tok or social media. These challenges or a “latest thing” is being viewed or talked about on buses, on the playground, in locker rooms, on Snapchat, in hallways, etc.

2. Ask questions and listen. Don’t threaten. Of course, you may only get one-syllable answers or shoulder shrugs initially but do not give up so easily. Keep asking. Let it be a casual conversation, not an interrogation or lecture. Here are some helpful ways to start – (a) “Hey, have you heard about {insert latest Tik Tok challenge}?” (b) “What are kids at your school saying about…?” (c) “What do you think about …?”

3. Pay attention and monitor. You would not let them use a power saw without supervision. They can also get hurt online. Kids often believe you will never know what they are doing because it is on THEIR phone. You are the parent and you should supervise the use of phones, tablets, and computers.

4. Watch the “Tik Tok – Not an Excuse” video together. Share with them that “participation” in a bad act may be broader than they think. Often students just think the ringleader will get in trouble. We also hope this video shares information about the juvenile justice system that you can use as an opportunity to talk about NOT wanting to be part of the system

5. Do not underestimate your influence. Be clear about your expectations and how you would feel disappointed and worried if they engaged in harmful behavior. Also, make sure to share with them how you are proud of positive things. If you do not exercise your influence, you are letting other kids and social media fill the void you leave.

6. Talk about their digital reputation. Often the very first thing colleges and employers do after receiving an application is to do a Google search. Talk about how nothing really goes away in the digital environment. Someone can screenshot a Snapchat message and post it online about them contrary to what they may believe.

7. Discuss how we all get hooked sometimes by social media and our phones. Let’s be honest, Tik Tok is not just a kid’s problem. We all check social media or mindlessly scroll on our phones when we are bored, stressed, or just want to zone out. Apps like Tik Tok, Instagram, and Amazon would not be million-dollar companies if they did not have very strong psychological algorithms that we are not even aware of. Maybe this is something to tackle together.