Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Are we putting our kids in danger??

Tuesday, October 26, 2010
We may actually be putting our kids in danger by the contradicting messages we send.
We tell them not to trust strangers, yet
-we drop them off at ball practice with coaches we may never have met
-we allow them to stay after school because they will be with their teacher

-we send them to dance lessons
-scout meetings
-play groups
-daycare centers
-friends' homes
-movie theaters
-even to the doctors office
without making sure that they are able to recognize when they are in danger

All of these places and circumstances are full of people they do not know & we do not know. Full of possible child predators.

We teach our kids not to take candy from strangers, but on Halloween, we often make exceptions, especially if it's in our own neighborhood, where sexual predators may lurk or reside.

And while we tell them not to even talk to strangers, we make an exception there too for police officers or other representatives of authority.
However, sexual predators have jobs in every profession.
There are no exceptions; they are white collar professionals, blue collar worker, & unemployed individuals.
It's impossible to tell sexual predators from the rest of the population. They are everywhere.

Instead of picking out a group of people to whom our kids can turn to when they are in trouble, such as police officers, we need to simply & openly teach children how to know where to turn.

They have to be trained to use their own intuition about people & use it in conjunction with the information that we have provided to them.

Predators can easily gain the trust of a child, instill in them a feeling of security, & often lead them astray by convincing them that they are mature enough to make their own decisions.

That is why we need to teach children, starting from a very early age, the vitally important information to help them take the power away from the predator.

*Children need to be aware that predators can & will approach them in broad daylight, & on the internet, anywhere at anytime.

If we can instill in our children the need to be completely aware of their surroundings on a much higher level than we generally do, then it's a start.

If we let children know at a young age that people older than them cannot always be trusted, that someone may try to talk to them about things like secrets & special friendships & that children need to tell on them, then we are making some progress. If we explain openly & honestly that there is nobody that can be crossed off the list of people to follow the rules about, then we might just get through to them.

Kids are resilient. They are smarter than we think. Giving them the tools to protect themselves at an early age is wise because it will come naturally to them as just another lesson in life.

I want to help you, as parents, educate yourselves & your children about these predators.

Without education, we will fail our children.



CanCan said...

We don't live in USA so that has taken the pressure off...no trick or treating, no sitting on santa's lap, and no trusting random strangers, because we don't speak their language anyway.

amy said...

So you think that just because you do not live in the US there aren't child predators where you live?

Susan Komisar Hausman said...

Great post, Amy. We cannot make assumptions about who a predator might/might not be. I hope your readers will visit www.DarknessToLight.com to learn more about preventing/responding to child sexual abuse.

Susan Komisar Hausman

Susan Komisar Hausman said...

Oops...that link should read www.DarknessToLight.org. I apologize!

amy said...

Thanks so much Susan! I cannot wait to work with Darkness to light myself. Just waiting on a training to be closer to home.

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