Page last updated at 10:51 GMT, Thursday, 1 January 2009

Text service offers parent advice

Parents worried about their teenage children will be offered advice

Parents in Hampshire will be able to use a new texting service from the New Year which will offer advice on how to handle teenage children.

Anxious parents will be able to text words such as "alcohol", "drugs" or "bullying" to 84400, to receive advice from the charity Parentline Plus.

They will then receive a text, such as: "Arguing won't help. Wait until u r calm and they r sober b4 talking."

The charity said some parents may not feel able to call their freephone line.

The Hampshire area joins Nottingham in being able to receive the confidential service from January.

Parents might not feel ready to have a phone conversation straight away
Leanne Hubbard
Parentline Plus

Parents are also able to call Parentline Plus's free 24-hour helpline on 0808 800 2222 and use the Parentline Plus website.

A spokeswoman said: "The New Year can herald a lot of teenager trouble. Parties, smoking and drinking are all major concerns for worried parents.

"The service is expected to be particularly useful for parents who have been priced out of maintaining a home internet connection by rising food and energy costs."

Leanne Hubbard, Hampshire area manager for Parentline Plus, added: "This free service launched by Parentline Plus, will support parents with a quick response.

"Asking for support when it is needed is a sign of good parenting, but parents might not feel ready to have a phone conversation straight away."

Words that parents can text include "teen", "alcohol", "drugs", "sex", "bullying", "smoking", "anger" and "divorce".

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