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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?

Houses of Parliament

Are mental health problems rising in children and young people? And is the internet to blame? An influential committee of MPs calls for more support for mental illness among the young.

Black cloud

When young people admit to having mental health problems, parents often blame themselves. There is still stigma and shame attached to this kind of illness, despite the fact that it's so common. But early diagnosis and treatment have been shown to work so it's important for parents to be open and supportive. Blaming yourself - or anyone else - doesn't help.

Sad girl

Girls in years 7 and 8 are a lot more anxious and unhappy than they were five years ago. Researchers from University College London suggest this may be the result of sexualised images of women in impact of social media.

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...

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.

Wine glasses

The Chief Medical Officer’s recommendation for Scotland.

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?

still from animated film

CEOP's Thinkuknow recently produced 4 short animated films on young people and taking nude selfies, and how to respond if your child sends a picture they regret. The films are based on research conducted over two years. Here CEOP underlines some of the key points.

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?

Stormy weather family

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

Family

Sex, drugs, internet porn - no, no, no, you don't want to talk to your child about that! How embarrassing. Especially as you know hardly anything about any of it. But it's one of those jobs (like changing nappies) that parents are put on earth to do. Here are our tips for making it less of an ordeal.

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?

Computer gaming

Do you sometimes feel your child is sharing not just too much information, but the wrong kind of information? Do you worry that their adolescent attitudes are going to hang over them for the rest of their lives? How do you talk to them about the identity they're creating with their friends - and how the internet makes that visible to everyone?

Connected

Researchers have been studying how children use smartphones, tablets and computers across Europe. So are children addicted to their phones? And how many have experienced cyberbullying? We have (some of) the answers...

Image changed through glasses to sunset and coloured sky

You can't shield your child from every risk in the online world, any more than you can offline. So how do you help them to be digitally literate (what does that even mean?) And what kind of parenting approach is most likely to help them stay safe?

Computer memory

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

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.

Closed doors

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

PUAs

So-called pick-up artists (PUAs) have been in the news recently. One PUA who claims to be a pick-up coach (he does stage shows) called Julien Blanc was refused a visa to enter the UK. 

Elephant friends

There's some good news about young people's health (teen pregnancies down, smoking, drinking and drug taking down) but some not-so-good news (obesity and mental health problems up). A new report from Public Health England says that young people's mental and physical health are closely connected - and that relationships are the key to their health and wellbeing.

What do you need to know when your child is exploring their sexuality online? When they've never met their new girl/boyfriend? When they're using technology to take their relationship to the next level? And what do you need to say?

Ministry of Justice's Revenge porn campaign

Distributing so-called revenge porn has recently become a criminal offence for over-18s. What does this mean in practice - and does it affect young people?

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?

Playing cards

Is gambling an addiction like drugs? And is your child at risk of becoming a problem gambler?

Reaching out

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

People symbols

Residency is the legal term for where children live when their parents have split up. The Coram Children's Legal Centre answers some FAQs about living arrangements, formal and informal.

Broken key

More than 120,000 families with dependent children separated in 2014. Roughly half of those couples who split were married and the other half were previously cohabiting.

Body image

Being positive about eating and what people look like (and yes, we're afraid that means your own body, too) can make an enormous difference to how your child feels about their own appearance. Here are our guidelines for what (and what not) to do.

Social media

‘Teens turn to, and are obsessed with whichever environment allows them to connect to friends. Most teens aren’t addicted to social media; if anything, they’re addicted to each other.’

There's been quite a lot of interest recently in monitoring apps, which allow you to track your child, alerting you to where they are and what they're doing. Sounds like a brilliant idea, no? But experts warn you should think twice before putting your child under surveillance. We look at the pros and cons.

Dog with iPad

Too many children have memories of dull ICT lessons acquiring skills that will probably be outdated by the time they start work. But the new computing curriculum, introduced this school year, is a really exciting (and world-leading) development. Simon Humphreys of Computing at School explains why.

Broken black crayon, stick man drawing

The reality of abuse is rarely like the high-profile cases we hear about on the news. The Lucy Faithfull Foundation busts a few of the myths. 

People walking through woods

It's hard to think about the possiblity that someone we know might be an abuser or that a child may be being abused. But there are warning signs that can alert us to potentially abusive people and it's as well to be aware of them. Donald Findlater of the Lucy Faithfull Foundation explains what they are. 

criss-crossing railway lines

The Lucy Faithfull Foundation explains the workings of the grooming process.

The porn industry can't make money out of sex that centres around personal connection and intimacy. It has to drive viewers to want to view more extreme content, of a kind they're prepared to pay for. As a result, watching porn can give young people a distorted idea of what men and women like to (and do) get up to - if, that is, they take it seriously, as a reflection of real life. Here CEOP's Dr Elly Hanson explains what we know from the evidence about the effect of porn on young people.

In just a few years, Minecraft has become one of the world's most popular games, mainly by word of mouth and despite the lack of a big marketing budget or a major organisation behind it. Already a hot topic of conversation in the playground, Minecraft is now moving into the classroom, as teachers increasingly find ways to use the game for educational purposes. Here's the lowdown for parents. 

Children need boundaries to make them feel safe - and to push against. This is as important online as off. The Parent Zone's Sophie Linington offers some tips on digital boundary-setting.

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