in partnership withLocal 12 News
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In the fast-growing world of social media, TikTok is a favorite among teens. We chat with an expert who offers tips on how to keep kids safe on TikTok — and earn parents some cool points. Image: TikTok

TikTok Family Pairing

In the fast-growing world of social media, TikTok is a favorite among teens. But as young content creators have fun showing off their dance moves, learning helpful skills, and finding new life hacks, parents want to make sure it's being done safely.

That's where TikTok Family Pairing comes in. Eric Ebenstein, director of Public Policy at TikTok, says the option enables parents to look after their children from their own devices and assures their online safety. It can also create a bond of trust between parents and children, while bridging the communication gap between them. Parents will learn to trust their children, while teenagers will develop a sense of responsibility while creating content.

The Family Pairing offers a series of customized safety settings. After the parents have created their TikTok account, they can easily link it to their child’s account. Different safety settings offered in the feature include:

Daily Screen Time

Time management is the core concern of parents, Ebenstein says. With the help of Daily Screen Time, parents can set a time limit for children to use the app. Even if the teen has multiple devices, the setting will automatically apply to all those devices.

Restricted Mode

According to Ebenstein, TikTok has a strict policy when it comes to content quality and only appropriate content is allowed on the platform. However, parents often have an even higher standard of what's suitable for their teens. The Restrict Mode helps parents to block content that they believe could be unsuitable for their child.


By using the Search setting, a parent can decide which person, content, and hashtag the child can explore. They can also choose which specific sound should be blocked from the search bar.


With the help of the Discoverability setting, the teen’s account can be set to two modes. First is the ‘private mode’ that gives teens the authority to decide who can view their profile. The second is ‘public mode,’ which allows anyone to go through the account.

Suggest Account to Others

Like other social media platforms, TikTok also offers a list of suggested accounts. By using Suggest Account, the parent has authority whether to feature the teen’s account on the recommended list or not.

Other Safety Features

TikTok’s Family Pairing provides control over some crucial options, Ebenstein says. This includes Direct Messages where the parent can either switch off the message option or restrict who can send a message on the teens’ account. Direct message is unavailable for teenagers aged 13-15. Parents have the authority to decide who can browse the videos their teens like and restrict people’s comments as well.

Click here to learn more and visit the TikTok Guardian's Guide.