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How TikTok - yes, TikTok - can actually help parents

Many certified parenting experts have found a new home on TikTok.

DALLAS — TikTok is booming.

For months, it's been at or near the top of the app store download lists. And estimates peg it's U.S. userbase at more than 100 million and growing. 

Digital parents are right to have concerns about the network. There's been plenty of news coverage about the danger of viral TikTok challenges or political fears over the app's data collection habits. But it's also home to powerful communities of people gathering around shared interests.

And one that's especially useful for parents is ... well ... parenting. 

Countless certified family therapists and parent coaches have found a home on the app, using it to spread their advice to people who they may otherwise never meet, many far beyond their traditional reach.

Rachael Rogers is one of them. 

A certified parent coach herself, she's built an audience of more than a million followers for her account: @TheConsiderateMomma.

“My goal is to focus on the parent and helping them create a secure attachment so that they're able to show up with understanding and love and support and compassion," Rogers told WFAA.

Rogers' content focuses on helping parents rethink their approach, complete with countless examples of methods parents can use to defuse conflict, set boundaries and connect with their kids. 

Same with Sean Donohue. He was working in the field for more than a decade before creating his TikTok videos under the handle @the.family.coach.

"The biggest surprise for me has been the response, and not just in the amount of followers, but in the comments," Donohue said. "Parents will write me and say they're really being the best version of themselves. You're showing me a different way. That's really cool and special to be a part of something like that."

These creators are active on other social networks as well. But they say TikTok's algorithm is uniquely successful for their content. The likes, comments and shares from parents in particular boost their content, creating an almost infinite loop of similar content. 

But fair warning: Not all creators are created equal.

While many of them are licensed professionals or have a long background in the field, many don't. So it's worth the time and effort to check out a creator's bio or visit their website to validate their expertise. For the legitimate experts, they often see TikTok as a tool they can use to spread good parenting advice and expand their reach. 

“It's really just a platform for me to help people, help people to grow in parenting," Donohue said. "And it is a helpful tool in my business.”

Rogers agrees. 

"I would never be able to reach this many people just in person," Rogers said. "So, I love that this has expanded my reach not just to my own nation but internationally, and allowed me to educate and empower parents all over the world.

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