Because there hasn’t really been any news about schools lately (are you picking up my sarcasm??), the teens of TikTok have decided to give us something to talk about this week: glorified school vandalism. The newest viral TikTok challenge, “deviiouslicks” eggs kids on to steal or destroy stuff at school and post it on TikTok. Because why wouldn’t you post your petty crimes on social media??
At least once a week I thank my lucky stars I grew up before social media, and this is a perfect example of why. I am thankful that, before my frontal lobe was fully formed, I did not have a public platform on which to display and archive my dumb decisions for all the world to see indefinitely.
But our teens do have the chance to display their worst on social, and we have to help them navigate the world of TikTok and its insane challenges.
"Devious Licks" TikTok challenge leaving bathrooms plundered in many schools across the nation https://t.co/HPBQ6nHqvP
— CBS News (@CBSNews) September 17, 2021
And so, I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but you might want to take some time this weekend to talk to your kids about why they shouldn’t vandalize their school bathrooms and post their crimes on TikTok. (Bangs head on desk.)
It sounds crazy, but like I said, our teens may have adult bodies but they still have childish brains. Science says until age 24-26 when that frontal lobe is fully formed, they may have trouble discerning the actual consequences of their actions.
This TikTok challenge and others, though they may be entertaining, rarely display the aftermath.
Last I checked, no school suspensions, groundings, trips to juvenile court or payment of restitution went viral on TikTok.
It’s also important to underscore how our teens’ actions affect others. For example, when the author of the Soccer Mom Blog posted about when the deviiouslicks challenge came to her kids’ school, she said that the soap dispensers had been destroyed and the bathrooms had been closed. I don’t know about you, but I really want my kids to be able to wash their hands at school during a global pandemic! And of course, not pee their pants for lack of open toilets. (I just banged my head on my desk again. Could you hear it?)
So moms and dads, talk to your kiddos about this one, because I’ll be honest, it’s one of the lesser evils when it comes to TikTok challenges.
If you head this one off at the pass, chances are they will think twice before doing something really harmful. But don’t ever assume “my kid would never!” In the parenting world, that’s practically asking for it. Talk to your kids. Check their social media accounts! And you know, maybe even start your own TikTok just so they’ll think it’s not cool anymore. (I’m kidding. Kind of.)