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Think your child may be involved in a gang? Advice from the Home Office on what to do.

Minecraft is phenomenally popular, especially with primary school children. Sometimes described as Lego for the digital age, it is absorbing, creative and educational - but, as with any online activity, it's as well to be aware of the basics of staying safe. Here's our guide to helping your child make the most of Minecraft.

Gay men have a 'morning after' pill too - but many gay teenagers still don't know about it. And in fact, you don't have to take it the morning after - it's effective for up to 72 hours after unprotected sex. Little as you want to think about your child having unprotected sex, it does happen - and it's as well they know that there is something they can take to prevent them from developing HIV. Here's what one gay man wishes he'd known as a teenager.

Rainbow steps

Is your child uncertain about their sexuality? Are you half-expecting some big 'coming out' announcement? Richard Essery of Brook offers advice for parents on how to respond.

FPA

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can affect anyone who's had sex, even if only once. Which doesn't quite seem fair, but that's infections for you. Young people aged under 25 have higher rates of STIs than other groups, so it's worth being aware of what the risks are, how to guard against them, where to go if you're worried and what, as a parent, you should be advising.  

Closed doors

Brook's Richard Essery on how to deal with your child's developing sexuality, and the still-taboo topic of masturbation.

Images of women in the media that focus entirely on physical appearance are so common that most of the time most of us don't even notice them. But what effect are they having on girls' assumptions about their future? Lia Latchford and Ikamara Larasi of Msunderstood offer advice on helping girls to understand and resist stereotypes.

Couple with umbrella

The issue of consent has recently been in the news: Cambridge University is considering introducing classes on consent after a high number of students reported experiencing assault, harassment and unwelcome touching.

Crayon drawing

In this video, Claire Usiskin from YoungMinds talks about warning signs to look out for if you're concerned about your child's mental health - and what to do.

Silhouette

Is depression a fact of teenage life? What are the signs of depression and what can you do if you're concerned that your child may be depressed? Young Minds' Lucy Maddox offers some advice.

Good mental health

What does good mental health look like when it comes to young people?

Self-harm

A new study out in autumn 2014 suggests that self-harm among teens in England has trebled in the last decade. What warning signs do you need to look out for?

Seeing your child scratching, biting, hitting or banging their head can be incredibly distressing - but it's a not uncommon experience for parents of children with intellectual disabilities. Cerebra explain self-injury and what parents can do.

Group selfie

Even world leaders take selfies... In this video, Vicki Shotbolt of The Parent Zone talks about the hazards of online flirting via photos - and what to tell your child.

Aces

Paul Buck had a great job in finance until it was ruined by problem gambling. He believes the temptations to gamble are greater - and a lot more visible - for young people than they were when he was a teenager. Here he identifies the different stages when gambling becomes a problem and suggests where to go for help if you're concerned.

Gambling

Since when has gambling been something parents need to worry about? The law is clear, surely? Well, yes, it is, and under-18s aren't supposed to gamble - but 15% of 11-16 year-olds say that they've gambled in the last week. Plus we know that the earlier you start, the greater the chances of becoming a problem gambler in later life. So should parents be as concerned about gambling as about, say, drugs?

Shadow

In this video, Jonathan Baggaley explains how CEOP can help parents who are worried about online abuse.

Relationships

What is an abusive relationship? How do you spot when someone is trying to exercise too much control over you? And how to warn your child against relationships that are going to hurt them?

Cyberbullying

Alex Holmes, the Diana Award anti-bullying programme manager, was previously a victim of bullying and now runs the anti-bullying ambassadors programme. In this video, he explains what cyberbullying is, why it hurts - and what you can do about it.

Bullying

Alex Holmes, anti-bullying manager for the Diana Awards, offers advice on how to recognise bullying and what to do if your child is affected.

Reaching out

Alex Holmes, anti-bullying programme manager for the Diana Award, outlines some useful things to do if your child is being bullied.

Couple in doorway
In this video, Simon Blake from Brook talks about what to do when it's too embarrassing to talk to your child about sex.
Stormy weather family

CEOP's tips for ways to start a conversation with your teenager – and where to take it after that.

Porn button

Pornography is more available than ever before, thanks to the internet. It can also be a hideously embarrassing subject to broach with your child. In this video, CEOP's Jonathan Baggaley offers some tips for opening non-awkward discussions.

Online porn is everywhere - only a couple of clicks away in the playground or a friend's bedroom. Many older children, as well as some younger ones, have seen something that you (and quite possibly they) would rather they hadn't. Here are Dr Elly Hanson's tips for how to address this very tricky issue without feeling embarrassed or making your child feel awkward.

Advice to parents on how much screen time small children should have has changed - basically, from 'none' to 'it's OK to have some.' Here are our commonsensical top tips on how to manage infants' screen time to make sure they develop healthily and happily without making life impossible for you.

Teens

Wondering what your children are tapping into their phones? Or, in fact, what it means? Here's our parent's guide to some popular teen chat acronyms and slang words. 

digital infants

You don't stop educating your children once they've learnt their phonics. They need to move up to understanding the meaning of what they're reading. In the same way, once your child is online and you're filtering and monitoring in the right way for their age, there's still a job to do. Here's a useful breakdown of what it means to be digitally literate, with some good news for parents.

Digital parenting

Top tips on staying up-to-date with what your children are doing online.

Children at screens

We're always hearing about 'digital natives' as if all young people are happily at home on the internet, knowing where to find all the good things, how to avoid the hazards and partying happily together. But what if most young people were just as anxious and lost as their parents? The experts think that's much closer to the truth...

Internet

Two thirds of young people have their own smartphone before they start secondary school (and some other interesting facts). How does your child's internet use compare?

The big move up to secondary school is a bit scary - so what if they're still not settling in after a few weeks? Here are our tips on how to support them through the common teething problems.

Ask.fm

Ask.fm is anonymous and has been known to lead to cyberbullying and taunting. Here is CEOP’s guide to Ask.fm in a series of FAQs for parents.

The numbers of young people admitted to hospital with eating disorders have doubled in the last three years, according to the NHS. Pro-anorexia and pro-bulimia websites are widely seen as a big part of the problem. We look at what these sites are and why they're seen as so toxic. 

Bench silhouette

Suicidal thoughts are more common that most of us realise - and different triggers can tip thoughts into action. Ged Flynn of Papyrus, the national charity dedicated to the prevention of young suicide, outlines what parents need to know.

Splitting

When parents split up, they have to agree the contact arrangements for children. The Coram Children's Legal Centre outlines acceptable practice for contact, what to do when things go wrong, and some tips for making contact work for everyone.

Adopted children are more vulnerable to risks online, such as out-of-the-blue contact from birth families. What can parents do to help keep them safe?

Teen and father at screen

A quarter of 9-16 year-olds have told researchers they’d seen sexual images in the past year. Is the ready availability of porn everywhere changing young people's attitudes to sex and relationships?

Computer memory

Worried that your child may be accessing undesirable content online? Try our checklist of precautions and ways to respond.

What can you do if your child is talking online to someone they don't know in the real world and you're suspicious? What if you think they're being asked to do things, share images, encouraged to meet? CEOP - the Child Exploitation and Online Protection command of the National Crime Agency and one of the partners behind Parent Info - is the answer. This is how and where to report your concerns.

Wine glasses

The Chief Medical Officers of the different nations have slightly different guidelines relating to under-age drinking. Here's the advice from the Chief Medical Officer for Wales.

Alcohol and the law

Alcohol has a magnetic attraction for young people. Almost every parent of teenagers knows someone who's had a party go disastrously wrong because someone smuggled in bottles of vodka, or some child who's had to go to hospital. But what's the legal position? Should you ever give children a glass of wine with dinner? How old do they have to be before you take them into a pub? The law explained.

Technology

What are children really seeing online? Do parental filters work? Our stats may surprise you...

Kids at school

Children do better at school if their parents are involved in their education. That means taking an interest in what they’re doing academically – but it also means creating conditions that help them... here are some suggestions.

School stairs

It pays to be prepared for parents' evenings...

Texting

What is sexting? Is it illegal to share naked or partially naked images of young people? Why has it become such a common activity? And how do you alert your child to the risks?

Camera

Sex plus the teenage urge to take risks plus the constant presence of a camera and a 'send' button - it's probably not surprising that a lot of young people think sexting is a perfectly normal part of modern teenage relationships. Is it? How often do things go wrong? What happens when images get spread beyond the boy or the girl they were meant for?

Looking out window

Sexting is almost the norm among some young people but sharing images of anyone under the age of 18 is illegal. So what should you say about sexting to your child? And how to respond if your child has sent an image they regret?

Sleep

Teenagers have very different sleep patterns from younger children or indeed adults. So should you be telling them to go to bed?

Homework

Research shows that children do better at school if their parents are involved in their education. When parents show interest, exam results tend to improve – so what's the best way to take an interest without putting them off completely?

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