In the article and video on the link below, you find a great article on how child predators work. The child advocate interviewed stated something that I have taught, that the predator does not only target the child, but they also target the family. The reason they do this is that a vulnerable child with a bad or neglectful family relationship is less likely to tell someone what is happening. Some things to look for in these situations that are red flags are the following
- The adult spending time with the child alone at a location such as a residence or away from the place where they usually interact, ie, school or church.
- Regular one to one communication with the child via text
- Sudden appearance at child’s special events or family events. They will tend to show up uninvited or invite themselves.
The take away here is to make sure you have a good relationship with your child. Signs of a good relationship include open communication, access to their devices, and the willingness of the child to answer and freely offer information about their day and interaction with adults and others. Some parents think they have this but are far from it. This type of relationship starts when the child is very young, and it will need to progress through the teen years. If you don’t have it, it is hard to get going, but it is possible, with patience and love.
Remember the bad guys out there will target the family, looking for those families with kids that are vulnerable. So let’s be involved parents and keep our eyes open and communication flowing with our kids. Being an involved parent and having open communication with your child is the best deterrent to the child predators.