Is social media a blessing or a curse? Is the ability to connect and share online something you crave or something you dread? Or both?
The good news is that the topic of #Saveourchildren has gone "viral," which demonstrates the value of children in our community (using the term broadly) but honestly, I'm clueless about hashtags or what to do with them. I talk to lots of parents (aunts, uncles, grandparents) who are struggling to understand what is safe for kids and what is not. The looming threat of child sex trafficking is definitely on their minds. I see the social media warnings of abductions in the big box stores or parking lots and can only imagine the anxiety of parents with previous youngsters at their side doing their routine household shopping.
While being aware of your surroundings is always good advice...the real threat to children is much more scary that the concern that someone is watching. Don't let the social media description of predators lurking in the store distract you from a more realistic situation that the predator is someone you know. With that in mind, I was excited to see this article today on warning signs of predators.. Read it in detail at https://www.yahoo.com/news/warning-signs-of-predators-for-parents-127261332922.html and its included on our kNow More tab. Here's the "clliff notes" on things to be aware of to keep kids safe:
The startling, sad news is that parking lot abductions are NOT your biggest threat. “The offender is most often familiar to the child and uses coercion and manipulation, not physical force, to engage the child,” reports the American Academy of Pediatrics. So how can mothers and fathers identify the close people most likely to have ulterior motives, or who might want to take advantage of your child? Here are a few simple ways to see the red flags that are often right in front of you:
The staff at Dearing House loves it when you ask us questions or need more resources. We admit that we don't have all the answers, but thankfully we do have access to a world of information and research from experts in the field. Here's the bottom-line: How do you balance all the demands on your time and energy as a caregiver, AND be ever on the watch for sexual predators? I offer this word of encouragement: a child who's emotional needs are being met in a safe and stable environment by appropriate adults is less likely to be targeted by predators and less vulnerable to a predator's attempt to lure them away. Kids who are valued and loved, are less likely to seek or accept the attention from questionable sources and more likely to speak up for themselves. That bossy, outspoken child who occasionally gets on your nerves for being so opinionated is in many his or her own best defense! You strengthen your child with your love and attention. You keep your eyes on what is going on around them, too.
At your service,