Photo provided courtesy of Stuart Miles and freedigitalphotos.net.
As a parent, there is nothing more important than keeping your child safe. Since you have no way of knowing who is or is not a child predator, you must be proactive in guarding them from any harm. Listed below are a few ways to safeguard your children from these kinds of malicious individuals.
Arm Your Children with Information
One of the best ways to protect your children is by simply talking to them. Make sure they are aware of the following information:
No one (including relatives) should ever touch them in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable
Not to talk or go with anyone they do not know
An adult should never ask a child to keep a secret
Always go places with a friend, never alone and get permission before leaving (the yard, etc.)
If an unfamiliar person approaches them, scream and run
To tell you or another nearby trusted adult, if they are ever in a situation where they feel threatened
You do not want to scare your children to the point that they are fearful of the world. However, you must warn them of potential danger around them. Tell your children that not all people are bad, but since we cannot tell simply by looking at a person, we must be careful about who we trust.
Make Your Home a Safe Haven
According to Florida home security experts, many child abductions happen in the victim’s own home. The perpetrator is often someone that has visited the home and knows where in the house to return at night to abduct the child. One way to prevent this is by monitoring all doors and windows in the home with an alarm system.
Be Extremely Careful of the Internet
Predators are known for grooming their victims over the Internet. Grooming involves a predator befriending a child in order to establish an emotional connection and then using that link to lure the victim to a physical location to abduct and/or attack them. Be sure your child never shares any type of personal information on social media sites and keep track of what websites he or she is visiting.
Pay Attention to Everything
Always know what is going on in your child’s life. Meet and get to know his or her teachers, coaches, and the parents of your child’s friends. Watch how the adults interact with your child and other children around them. Let the adults in your child’s life know that you are paying attention and communicating with your child about what is going on when you aren’t around. Also, meet older siblings of your child’s friends and watch their behavior toward other children. Many times, a child that is being sexually abused will in turn exploit other children that he or she is around.
Lastly, teach your kids to trust their instincts. Tell them that if someone makes them uncomfortable or if they feel a situation doesn’t seem quite right, it is ok to say “no”. Remember that it is not possible to be too careful when it comes to protecting your children. Be watchful and vigilant about your child’s safety at all times, because in doing so you may literally be saving their life.
Karleia is a freelance blogger and mother to two beautiful daughters. Follow Karleia on Facebook.