What Parents Need to Know About Debit Cards for Kids

Did you know Canadians collectively owe over $100 billion in credit card debt? Modern life is expensive, and with online purchases only a mouse click away, it can be difficult for even the most sensible shopper to stick to a budget.

As parents, it’s important we teach our kids smart money management so they can avoid big debts later in life. Whether your children are just starting to earn a kids allowance or are already seasoned clients of the Bank of Mom and Dad, kid-friendly debit cards can be an easy way to foster financial independence while avoiding surprise bills.

New to Mydoh? Mydoh is a digital wallet and Smart Cash Card for kids and teens. Kids can use it to earn money through tasks and make purchases in-store or online. Parents can monitor spending and activities. Mydoh teaches kids responsible money management and smart financial decisions. Download Mydoh and start your free trial.

What is a debit card?

Think of a debit card as a payment card that deducts money directly from a chequing account when it is used. It’s commonly referred to as a bank card, but it’s important to note that a bank card is any card issued against a depository account, such as an ATM card or a debit card. Unlike credit cards, a debit card links to your bank account and deduct money directly from that account when you use them to make a purchase or withdraw money.

Where can you use debit cards?

Debit cards are issued by your bank, often in partnership with a payment processing network, such as Visa or Mastercard. This means you can use your debit card to withdraw cash from ATMs or shop anywhere the partner brand is accepted. For in-person purchases, you typically have to enter a personal identification number (PIN) to verify your identity or by tapping your card if you’ve been provided with a “tap to pay” debit card.

What’s the difference between a debit card and a credit card?

When you use a debit card, you spend your own money that’s already in your bank account. When you use a credit card, you borrow credit that has to be paid back.

This usually means you can’t spend more money than you have with a debit card; however, some banks allow you to overdraft your account by a certain dollar amount. Be careful, though—banks often apply an additional fee to transactions when an account is overdrawn.

Because of these major differences between credit cards and debit cards, it is important to provide your teens with a thorough explanation of credit cards for kids, due to the potential to accumulate debt if they are not used responsibly.

How old do you have to be to get a debit card?

There’s no minimum legal age to get a debit card for kids in Canada, but most banks require a parent or legal guardian to open an account if a child is under 18 years of age. While it’s very common for Canadian teens to have debit cards, some parents allow kids as young as eight or nine to get their own cards. Kids and teens can receive RBC Visa Debit Cards to use with their RBC Leo Young Savers Account or student banking account.

A young teen using a kids debit card to tap for a purchase with her parents

3 reasons to get your kids a debit card

1. Supervised freedom

Debit cards give kids the freedom to make purchases without constantly nagging their parents for money. Even better, parents can still monitor independent-minded tweens and teens’ spending from afar. It’s the best of both worlds: kids don’t feel smothered, and parents can feel secure.

2. Low risk

Unlike credit cards, debit cards don’t allow kids to go into debt or spend more money than they have. Think of them as training wheels on the road to financial independence! Debit cards can be easily reported lost or stolen, frozen, or replaced. Their PIN feature also makes them more secure than many credit cards. In Canada, most credit and debit cards require PIN to purchase in-store.

3. Instant access

If your tween or teen makes their own money, they can use a debit card to access it instantly without having to use you as a middle person. This increases their sense of ownership and responsibility. There’s nothing quite like the sense of accomplishment a tween or teen gets when they deposit their first pay cheque into their very own account.

Debit card alternatives for kids

A Mydoh Smart Cash Card is similar to a debit card with a few extra perks! Mydoh Smart Cash Cards are reloadable prepaid Visa cards that can be used anywhere Visa is accepted. They use the same card number, expiry date, and CVV format as debit and credit cards so your tweens and teens feel like they’re getting the real deal. Kids and teens can also order a custom Smart Cash Card with Mydoh by Me.

The Mydoh digital wallet works with in-store, online and in-app purchases. The best part is there’s no risk of surprise bills or debt because tweens and teens can only spend the amount of money in their accounts.

Numbers and anatomy of a credit and debit card explained

Advantages of a Mydoh Smart Cash Card for kids over traditional credit cards and debit cards

Now for the perks! A Mydoh Smart Cash Card is much more than just a card; it’s a tool to help parents teach their kids money skills in engaging and fun ways. For example, you can track your children’s spending and react with emojis, the universal language of young people. See them shopping at the local bookstore? Thumbs up! Notice a bunch of Uber charges when they were supposed to be studying at the library? Angry face! If need be, you can lock the Smart Cash Card and your child’s spending at any time.

Kids can also use the Mydoh app to track their spending habits and understand where their money is going. The Mydoh app can help parents teach kids about money at an early age, including money management, budgeting and more.

Mydoh is powered by RBC, so you can be confident it’s safe to use.

Mydoh, a debit card alternative for kids

Teach your kids how to use debit cards and spend money responsibly

There’s no time like the present to start teaching your kids financial skills. Mydoh Smart Cash Cards and kid-friendly debit cards are the perfect tools to help your children transition smoothly from piggy banks to the adult world of credit cards.

Download the Mydoh app and Smart Cash Card to empower your children while still providing them with the freedom to optimize their purchasing power and handle their own money safely.

What Parents Need to Know about Social Media App Clubhouse

Clubhouse is one of the newest social media apps to hit the mainstream. No, it’s not a community of hardcore herb and spice lovers—that’s the other Clubhouse. This Clubhouse is an app built around voice chat rooms. Confused? Here’s everything you need to know about it as a parent, including how it works, who uses it, and whether it’s safe for tweens and teens.

What is Clubhouse?

Clubhouse is an invitation-only social media app where users can gather in voice chat rooms to discuss a wide range of topics. Unlike other popular social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, Clubhouse is an audio-only platform. This means there’s no ability to post text, photos, or videos publicly.

All voice chats occur in real-time and aren’t recorded. This means they can’t be replayed later on; you must tune in live to listen. Rooms can accommodate two people to thousands of people, making the app a popular choice for everything from intimate chats among friends to book club discussions and Q&As with celebrities. Clubhouse soared to popularity during the pandemic as a way for people to socialize and network from a distance. It now boasts over 10 million users.

Is there an age limit for Clubhouse?

While Clubhouse has a stated minimum age of 18, kids and teens are infamous for their inclination to ignore these sorts of rules – particularly because there’s no age verification on Clubhouse.

Tip: Find out which social media platforms are kid-friendly in our parents guide to social media for kids.

How does Clubhouse work?

Clubhouse is made up of countless audio chat “rooms.” Rooms are like open conference calls, which users can hop in and out of at any time. They usually feature a small number of people actually talking, with most users listening. If a listener wants to join the conversation or ask a question, they can “raise their hand,” and the room’s host can decide whether or not to let them have the digital mic.

The conversations that happen in rooms aren’t recorded and can’t be played back or shared at a later time (unless the room’s host is recording the session on an external device, which the app’s rules say they must disclose upfront).

Users can also join clubs that cater to specific interests or topics. These clubs will host regular chat rooms related to their area of interest. For example, a rom-com fan club may host a weekly room to discuss different romantic comedies, or a marketing club may host a weekly Q&A with experts in the field.

How do you join Clubhouse?

To sign up for Clubhouse, someone has to receive an invite from an existing user.

If your teenager receives an invite, they can create a profile and use the app. Once they create a profile, they’ll be asked to select topics of interest, such as movies, books, tech, gardening, or fashion. Clubhouse uses these preferences to populate the app’s home screen with voice chat rooms it thinks a user may like. They will also have the ability to follow other users, which means they’ll be able to see when they’re in a room.

Who uses Clubhouse?

Since the app is invite-only, many Clubhouse users tend to either be celebrities, or work in the tech, media, PR, or entertainment worlds. However, as Clubhouse grows, so does its user base. Right now, Clubhouse’s users are typically adults. Big names on Clubhouse include Oprah, Jared Leto, Chris Rock, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, and Tiffany Hadish.

A young kid listening to a Clubhouse chatroom with her mobile phone and headphones on

What do parents need to know about Clubhouse?

If your tween or teen circumvent the app’s age guidelines, they may be exposed to adult conversations, swear words, and other inappropriate languages. While hosts are supposed to moderate audio chat rooms, in practice moderation is still spotty. This means Clubhouse can also be a source of misinformation or “fake news.” 

Unlike many other social media platforms, there’s no way to set a Clubhouse profile to private. This means if your tween or teen joins the app, it’s not possible to limit their interactions to just friends or family. This makes Clubhouse more of a safety risk for tweens and teens. 

However, Clubhouse can be a great resource for parents, who can join parenting-themed clubs and rooms for advice, tips, or just some hysterical stories about raising a kid in today’s world. There are also niche clubs for parents, such as ones targeted at new moms who often feel isolated after giving birth.

Is Clubhouse safe for kids and does it have any safety features?

Clubhouse isn’t safe for kids, which is why users must be at least 18-years-old to use it. Because the app is still in the early stages of development, and not technically open to the public, it lacks some of the safety and privacy features of other social media platforms. For example, there’s no way to have a private account.

Moderation is spotty to non-existent, so tweens and teens may encounter inappropriate topics, adult language, or hate speech if they use the app. 

Clubhouse does offer the ability to block other users. If your tween or tween blocks someone, that person is unable to join any room your tween or tween is in. They will also not be able to see your child’s profile, if they’re online, or what rooms they’re in.

Read more about the pros and cons of social media for youth.

Ways to talk to kids and teens about social media safety

  • Discuss the importance of age restrictions, and why they’re put in place.
  • Suggest more kid-friendly alternatives to Clubhouse, such as Popjam, geared towards 7- to 12-year-olds.
  • Set clear expectations and social media boundaries about how your tween or tween should interact with others online.
  • Let your tween or tween know they should come to you if they encounter anything online that makes them feel bad or frightened. Stress that they won’t get in trouble.
  • Use social media apps with your kids, either through family accounts or by interacting with them frequently through your own account. Have discussions about what you see and hear on social media.
  • Review settings together to maximize privacy and ensure intrusive data isn’t collected by apps.

Clubhouse is an innovative app with lots of potential, but unfortunately it’s not yet safe for tweens and teens under the age of 18. If your child receives an invite or creates an account despite the guidelines, it’s important to be aware of safety risks and have candid conversations with them about your expectations.

Learn more about how you can use Mydoh as a way to help your kids learn, earn, and save.

Download Mydoh today to learn more.


What Is Mydoh Earn? (Video)

Video Transcription

Still using sticky notes to track chores?

Mydoh Earn is focused on helping kids learn the value of earning a dollar with real-world experience.

Within the app, parents can easily set up tasks for kids, pay them for completing those tasks and set a weekly allowance.

You can set up chores and tasks like washing dishes, taking out garbage, babysitting, and more!

Once the task is complete, kids mark it off in the app, and you get notified!

We also send notifications of upcoming tasks, so you don’t have to ask your kids to do things constantly.

You can also set up a weekly allowance, so your kids have some extra spending money throughout the week.

Allowance and payment for completed tasks are paid once a week on Pay Day, which is every Saturday.

From learning to earning to making smart money choices, your kids’ activity is secure because Mydoh is powered by RBC (Royal Bank of Canada).

Download Mydoh today to learn more.

What Parents Need to Know About TikTok

First came Facebook, then Instagram, and Snapchat. Now, there’s a new social media behemoth in town, and its name is TikTok. The video-sharing platform is all the rage with tweens and teens, even earning some millions of fans and millions of dollars to match. However, TikTok is simply a great way to socialize and express creativity for most tweens and teens.

Like any social media app, TikTok comes with its own set of adult content, privacy, and safety concerns. So, if your tween or teen is using TikTok, or asking to create an account, here’s everything you need to know.

What is TikTok?

TikTok is a video-sharing social network where users can post and watch short-form videos on a variety of subjects. Videos range in length from 15 seconds to one minute and can be edited in-app to add music, graphics, and filters. TikTok first launched in September 2016 and now counts over 689 million global active users, with millennials and Gen Z making up more than half the app’s user base.

Teens posing for Tik Tok

How does TikTok work?

Users can create a TikTok account with a phone number, email address, or third-party accounts such as Facebook or Instagram. Once logged in, your child will be able to search up users and hashtags, follow other accounts, and post their own content. If they share their phone’s contact book, they can see which of their friends are already on TikTok.

To create a post, kids can either record a video in the TikTok app or upload a previously recorded one. They can then edit the video by splicing it, adding text and graphics, setting it to music, and adding filters, among other features. Before it’s posted to TikTok, they’ll have the opportunity to add a caption and hashtags to help their post get discovered by other users.

The TikTok homepage contains two feeds. One features content from accounts users already follow, while the other is called the “For You Page,” frequently abbreviated to “FYP.” The videos on this page are chosen specifically for the user by a TikTok algorithm, based on a combination of what’s trending and your child’s viewing history. So, for example, if your teen likes and comments on videos of cute dogs, they’re likely to see more cute dog videos on their FYP.

Looking for more social media parenting tips? Read our parents guide to social media.

Is TikTok safe for kids?

TikTok is a relatively safe app that’s no more or less risky than using other social apps, like Facebook and Instagram. However, like with all social media networks, it’s important your child protects their privacy and be mindful of internet safety (we share more tips on online safety below!).

Read more about the pros and cons of social media for kids.

Is TikTok appropriate for kids?

TikTok has different rules for different age groups and also offers various parental controls, which we’ll detail later in this article. Many tweens and teens use TikTok, and it can certainly be appropriate for kids. However, parents need to be aware of potential risks like expletives in trending song lyrics, cyberbullying in comment sections, and sexualized dancing. Importantly, TikTok doesn’t allow searches for objectionable content, like “porn.” Like Instagram, TikTok also allows users to create a private account, so only users they approve can follow them. If you educate them about cyberbullying, monitor your tween or teen’s usage, and ask them to follow age-appropriate accounts or accounts of people they know, TikTok can be appropriate for kids.

Teen girl recording a clip for a TikTok dance challenge

What type of content is on TikTok?

TikTok is unique from other social networks in that there’s less emphasis on posting original content and more emphasis on participating in trends and collaborating with other users via features like this duet with Gordon Ramsay, where you can build upon another user’s video via split-screen. There have even been crowdsourced musicals created on TikTok! For example, last year’s Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical.

The TikTok app also has a reputation for spontaneous, funny, and quirky content that can range from dance performances, to lip synching, cooking, fitness, pets, and even finance. Here are some examples:

TikTok Dances

TikTok dances are especially popular on the app, where users perform simple (or sometimes complicated) choreography paired with trending songs. It’s important for parents to note these songs aren’t censored for expletives or adult content in their lyrics.

TikTok Challenges

TikTok Challenges are another popular form of content in which a user will post a prompt for others to respond to. These can range from simple questions to challenges that involve dances, cooking, or pranks. A great way to bond—and supervise your kids at the same time—is to participate in family-friendly challenges with your tween or teen. Unlike other social networks where it might be embarrassing or “uncool” for a parent to appear on their kid’s feed, many moms, dads, and even grandparents join in the TikTok fun—and sometimes go viral!

What is the age rating for TikTok?

TikTok has a 12+ age rating. This means parents have access to device-level parental controls on Apple and Android devices. If you don’t want your tween or teen to download TikTok, you can prevent them from doing so via the settings in the App Store, Google Play Store, Amazon Appstore, and other official application platforms.

According to TikTok’s terms and conditions, users are required to be aged 13 and older. However, once a tween or teen downloads TikTok, they only have to verify their age by entering a birth date. This is easy for kids to fake, so parents may want to monitor their child’s use of the app directly and/or establish clear social media boundaries.

TikTok users between 13- and 15-years-old have private accounts by default, although teens can switch them to public ones. They can only comment on friends’ videos, and other users can’t “duet” the videos they post. This prevents their content from being used in ways they didn’t intend and potential cyberbullying.

Users over 16 years of age can livestream and send private messages on the app. Anyone over 18 years of age can buy, send, and receive TikTok gifts—essentially monetary donations users can give or receive. These virtual gifts come in the form of icons, ranging from Panda to Rainbow Puke to Drama Queen.

How to monitor your child’s TikTok account

TikTok offers a feature called Family Pairing, which means you can enable a variety of parental controls by linking your account with your tween or teen’s account. The controls vary by region and version of the app but typically include making an account private, the ability to comment on videos, the ability to send and receive direct messages, screen time management, and search capabilities.

Many parents also share accounts with their tweens or teens, creating family content (group dances, lip sync performances, and pranks are great examples). This allows parents to be actively involved in what their kids’ post and who they interact with. The saying “the more, the merrier!” really is true on TikTok.

A teen and her mom doing a TikTok video together

How to set boundaries with your kids

It’s important to have open conversations with your tween or teen about how they use TikTok and your expectations as a parent. Approach discussions with a collaborative spirit, and go through setting account permissions and parental controls together. Even better, be among your kid’s first followers, so they know you’re watching.

1. Create a safe space for honest conversations

Be honest with your kids about online safety and make it clear they can come to you with any concerns. If you’re not comfortable with your kids’ communicating with strangers online, ask them to tell you if someone they don’t know contacts them. Make it clear that they aren’t in trouble, and it isn’t their fault if someone sends them inappropriate content, and that it’s your job to keep them safe.

2. Encourage a respectful environment from both sides

Remind teens that other users are people just like them and that they shouldn’t post a comment or send a message they wouldn’t want to receive. Show kids how to report inappropriate comments on the app if they see them. .

For more tips, The Family Online Safety Institute offers a free, comprehensive guide to being a good digital parent.

TikTok’s potential mental health effects on youth

While TikTok can be a lot of fun, it can also be a source of anxiety and other mental health issues. Social media apps are created to be addictive, so it’s important for parents to monitor their kids’ screen time. Disabling direct messages and comments, or monitoring them, are good ways to prevent and address cyberbullying.

TikTok videos often contain filters and special effects, which can impact tweens’ and teens’ self-esteem. Remind them that, like Hollywood movies, not everything they see online is real, and people don’t always look the way they do on TikTok in real life. Encourage your kids to use “fun” filters that are more special effects-focused than ones that fine-tune their facial features or blur imperfections. You can also help them find and follow accounts with content that highlights hobbies, skills, and pets rather than a person’s looks.

What if my kid gets famous on TikTok?

TikTok videos are known for going viral overnight, making instant online social media celebrities of their creators. This is something parents should be aware of when considering whether to keep tweens’ and teens’ accounts private. Becoming a popular creator can make your kid money online through branded partnerships and sponsored posts. You should make sure your tween or teen tells you if they’re approached with any business opportunities and that any sponsored posts are marked as ads in line with Canada’s Ad Standards.

A child and her mom smiling for a TikTok video

How can I use TikTok with my kids?

One of the best things about TikTok is that it’s not only possible but cool for parents to post with their kids! You can do this by creating a family account or making occasional cameos on your tween or teen’s account. Videos of parents and grandparents doing TikTok dances are always popular, as are videos of them taking part in TikTok challenges. Some of TikTok’s most popular creators, like The D’Amelio’s, regularly post with their families.

You can also use your own account to create duets with your kids. Duets allow you to build on another user’s content by recording your own video alongside the original. When you post, both videos will appear on a split-screen.

TikTok is a source of pop culture for tweens and teens, and there’s no reason you can’t stay up-to-date. If you use the app yourself, you can follow similar accounts and start conversations about trending music, challenges, or creators.

TikTok online safety tips

Here is what parents should consider when it comes to TikTok and the online safety of their tweens and teens.

Should parents be concerned about TikTok’s security?

TikTok is a relatively secure app, and cybersecurity experts generally agree it’s no riskier to use than any other social media app. However, TikTok has come under scrutiny in the past for data mining.

General tips for keeping your children safe online

  • Tell your child to never reveal personal information, such as your address, phone number, school, or any family information.
  • Remind them to not share their passwords with anyone
  • Have kids use a screen name that doesn’t include any personal information
  • Ask tweens and teens not to engage in private conversations or direct messages with strangers
  • Check your credit card and phone bills for unfamiliar charges
  • Keep devices in common areas where you can keep an eye on kids’ usage
  • Spend time together online to demonstrate appropriate internet behaviour

TikTok is an exciting social network with lots of potential for creativity, connecting with others, learning new skills, and even making money. However, like all online forums, it comes with some privacy and safety risks. Parents should make sure they’re aware of these risks and address them with their tweens and teens before allowing them to have a TikTok account.

Learn more about how you can use Mydoh as a way to help your kids learn, earn, and save.

Download Mydoh today to learn more.

What is Mydoh? (Video)

Video Transcription

Raise money-smart kids with Mydoh, the money management app for kids—and parents!

Your kids get the independence they want, and you get the oversight you need.

Your kids can earn, spend, and learn money basics using the Mydoh app and Smart Cash Card.

What makes Mydoh Smart Cash Card so smart?

Your kids can safely spend their own money in-store and online up to the allowable limits, and you can track their spending activity.

You can react to your kids’ spending activity with emojis!

You can also lock and unlock their Smart Cash Card instantly from your parent account.

You get complete oversight.

Help your kids learn the value of earning money by setting up tasks or allowance.

Every Saturday is Pay Day, and kids access their money automatically through the Mydoh app.

No more fumbling for cash.

The Mydoh app also helps kids learn basic money concepts through bite-sized lessons.

From learning to earning to making smart money choices, your kids’ activity is secure because Mydoh is powered by RBC (Royal Bank of Canada).

Download Mydoh today to learn more.