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It’s important to have open conversations with your child about what they’re doing online from a young age, especially about the types of content they’re sharing. The NSPCC advises a good starting point could be by talking to them about image sharing in general and ask your child what sort of photos they’d feel comfortable posting online. This will give you a chance to see how much they already know about what is and isn’t appropriate to share. Remind them to never post or send anything that contains personal information and encourage them to come to you if they’re ever asked to share something that makes them feel uncomfortable.

If your child is older you might want to talk to them more directly about sharing nudes online. We know that this can be an awkward topic to bring up so we would recommend reading Childline’s advice on sharing nudes and sexting to give you some tips around how to approach it and what language to use.

Look out for opportunities in everyday life to start a discussion informally, such as a storyline on TV. This way you can have a conversation about sexting and sharing nudes without it being the main focus. Consider how you talk about this more widely, e.g. when discussing TV shows or news stories, and ensure that you aren’t using victim blaming language.

If your child’s been sending, sharing or receiving sexual messages, photos or videos, you may feel upset, angry or confused. Your children may also feel anxious talking about what’s happened, but there are ways you can reassure them.

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