Who Is A Predator To Your Child?
As a child of the 60’s and 70’s my mother was very protective of me. Protective to the point of needing to know where I was at all times, making me stay with her at all times while at the store, not letting me walk anywhere by myself, and making me stay in my yard, while outside playing. I didn’t understand why my parents were like this at my young age. But, moving forward into the 80’s and 90’s and becoming a mother, I came to understand why she did what she did for me and thank her for that. The world is a crazy place and you never know what people are really thinking or feeling. Therefore, becoming attuned to your environment is essential to maintaining your safety. The one thing that was cultivated in me as a young martial artist is that you have to be prepared for dangerous situations. This is especially true for young children, as their parents are their advocate for safety and, are the ones who teach them to be aware and prepared. Of course, many young children don’t know what a predator is and how to recognize one. Sometimes parents have a hard time recognizing them, as well. There is a saying that has been around at least, as long as I have, which is, “stranger danger”. There’s no doubt that strangers can be dangerous to children, as well as to adults. And it is a good thing to teach children to stay away from them. But look deeper into who you know in your life. You have immediate family, distant family, friends, acquaintances, co-workers, neighbors, children’s teachers, coaches, and school staff. And I am sure you, as a parent, could add to this list. Many people may not be aware that strangers are not at the top of the list, when it comes to kidnapping children or young adults. Crime statistics have shown that only twenty-eight percent of kidnappings are committed by strangers. That leaves seventy-two percent of predators being a person known to the family. Just knowing this information sends chills up my spine. Knowing that there may be someone in my circle of trusted adults wanting to kidnap or abuse my daughter, son, cousin, or sister is beyond redemption. In my Predator Prevention Guide, I list signs to look for in a predator. Here are a few to review.
Red flags for parents:
- Someone who insists on hugging, touching, kissing, tickling, wrestling your child
- Someone who shares inappropriate personal/private information
- An adult who frequently offers to babysit
- An adult who offers to buy gifts
- Someone who continually invites children to his home to play the latest games, etc.
It is important for all adults to be aware of the signs. Predator prevention takes a team of people. As the saying goes, the children are our future. Let’s not let them down! For more information or assistance please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
By Deborah White, RA, MBA, BA
(Black Belt-Self-defense Coach/Karate Instructor/Prevention Specialist)
Author of: Predator Prevention Guide, Be Bully Proof, & Women’s Real-life Self-defense
Self-Defense Coach/Karate Insructor/Prevention Specialist. RA, MBA. BA. Forty plus years in the martial arts. Chief Instructor at Pro Martial Arts. Teaching groups and priviate lessons. Author of Bullying Prevention, Predator Prevention, Women's Self-defense, and Karate books.