A Problem Shared: I Think My Daughter Is Sexting

A Problem Shared Parenting & Family Advice | by | 30th Sep 2016

APS Sexting

Nicola’s daughter is sexting – sending sexually explicit messages – to someone in her school. Do you have any advice for the week’s A Problem Shared…?

If you have an issue around sexting, or anything else, that you wish to share with the FamilyPoint Community, as well as get an answer from one of our trained and experienced helpline adviser advocates, then click here.


I went through my daughter’s phone last night and she’s sending inappropriate messages to a boy in her school. She’s only 14 and she shouldn’t be sending graphic sexual texts. I didn’t see any pictures but she’s always on Snapchat so maybe she does?

I don’t think it’s right that she’s doing this. The thing is we have a really good relationship and I don’t recognise her in these messages. How do I talk to her and make her stop without revealing I broke her trust by looking at her phone?


Our FamilyPoint response to Nicola

Thanks for contacting us at Family Point.

I can see this is something that is worrying you. I sense that this is due to the nature of the messages that might be being shared, but also about the trust issue checking her phone.

It’s great you have a good relationship with your daughter. I sense you are able to talk to her about most things but this issue might be a bit trickier at the moment.

Your main question is – How do I talk to her and make her stop without revealing I broke her trust by looking at her phone?

Girl on phone for sexting APS article

There could be options to think about here. Hopefully with our reply we can begin to give you some ideas which may be able to help you. In terms of how to approach this, what may be useful is to approach the conversation with your daughter in a less direct manner. Explain that this is something that is concerning you and that you want to genuinely help her to make safe and wise decisions, and to show her you care about her.

Also we have found some information and websites that could be helpful to you. This may be a good way of approaching the issue with your daughter.

Useful articles about sexting

The issue of “sexting”, which relates to the sending of pictures is not uncommon and there is a lot of information out there about it. Here’s a link that we hope will give you some further information about it. The article is from Family Lives and could give you a good insight into the issues, as well as other factors.

It also deals with the issue of explicit images which you mention you were also concerned about. It would be worth talking to your daughter about this anyway as it is illegal for anyone to send explicit images of an under 18, even if the person is sending it themselves.

If you are a bit worried about talking about this, you could look at it together. This might help to prompt a discussion to help think about the issue and the potential consequences of it, what’s involved and so on.

Sexting infographic for Sexting APS

Another article that may help comes from the NSPCC. It specifically looks at the issue and provides advice and tips too on how to bring it up.

These messages could be innocent of course, but some additional information could help you to take those first steps to discuss sexting. You could introduce this as an issue that concerns you, and that you want to make your daughter and you aware of an issue that can effect young people, particularly in these days of widespread social media use.

If you need more help around sexting or to think about this more, please do not hesitate to come back to us.

Helpline Graphic for Play out alone problem

If you would like further information on national or local support services, then you can contact us at FamilyPoint Cymru via phone 0300 222 57 57, text 07860 052 905, or IM/Chat. We are open Monday – Thursday 6pm – 10pm and Friday & Saturday 10am – 2pm.


The FamilyPoint Cymru Team


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