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  • Writer's pictureDennis McCaslin

Tips to teach your children to protect them from child predators

The following tips are a great approach to empower your kids to listen to their instincts when an adult in their life doesn’t seem “quite right.” These simple concepts are easily for children to understand about “safe” adults:

1. Safe adults don’t ask you to break a safety rule. 2. Safe adults don’t ask you to do something that feels uncomfortable to you. 3. Safe adults don’t offer to teach you something for free. 4. Safe adults don’t offer lots of attention and gifts. 5. Safe adults don’t need help from kids.

For example, a great rule is to teach kids that safe adults don’t ask kids for help when they’re out in public. Adults help adults. This means if a seven-year-old is at the park and a ‘friendly stranger’ asks for help finding a lost pet, that child knows this is ‘thumbs-down’ and to say no and get to their safe adult right away.”

Another rule is “check first.” A great example for a child is this: if the ice cream man at the park invites your child into his truck to pick out a special ice cream treat.

“Your child’s immediate response should be, ‘I need to check first,’ and run to ask their mom or dad.” Teach your child that if they can’t check first because they’re out on their own, they should always respond with ‘NO’ and move to a safer environment.

Another important rule involves private part touches, not keeping secrets from parents, and listening to your own ‘uncomfortable’ feeling when someone or something just doesn’t seem right.

Research shows that child predators have said time and again that the one thing that stops them is the possibility of being caught. So if parents stay engaged and empower their children to react to certain situations, that child is less likely to be a target.

What to do when your child alerts you to a potentially “unsafe” adult:

Stay calm. Don’t freak out. Your child will stop telling you things because they will worry about your response. Stay calm and understanding.

Thank them for telling you. Add something like, “I’m so glad you’re telling me about this.”

Ask for details, such as: “When did you notice this? Who was around? Where was this? Did this make you feel uncomfortable?

Tell them you believe them and that they are brave.

Remind them they are safe and that you will protect them.

The benefit to this approach is simple – children are kept safe.

I know my children are worth it. Aren’t yours?

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