With what we hear on the media, it’s has never been more imperative that they learn about “good touch and bad touch”, but there are few proactive measures parents can take to safeguard their children from predators. Each year, millions of people are raped or otherwise sexually abused, and research shows that incidents involving minors are on the rise. Because of the prevalence of abuse, it is vital that you, as apparent, address this issue with your child, no matter what their age is.
Sexual predators run rampant today, and young people and children are often the target of their attack, as they are naïve, innocent, and more likely to stay silent about the abuse. Research has shown that some youths are assaulted by a stranger, while the majority are attacked by someone known to the child.
Knowing this, how do you safeguard your child from sexual predators?
Here are a few parenting tips on how to deal with this:
1. Safety first: Your child needs to know the basics of safety no matter what their age is. They need to know that if they are alone, they need to stay alert. More importantly you need to talk to your child about boundaries- what they are allowed to do and what they are not. This is why you need to have the “GOOD-TOUCH, BAD TOUCH” talk with your kids.
2. Know who your child is with: As parents you need to face the reality that there are sexual predators who will create opportunities to be alone with kids by doing wonderful things with and for them. And, most of these offenders will seem like really nice people, so it’s important that you know the person your child is hanging out with and the activities that they do.
3. Listen to your child: When your child expresses distrust or shies away from someone, do NOT force them to hug that person or talk to that person. Allow your child to spend with people they are comfortable with.
One of the reasons, kids are the prime target of sexual predators is that they bank on their silence. This is why you need to ensure your child does not hide any secrets and feels safe sharing everything with you, without fear of reprimands.
4. Practice self-defence: Your child needs to learn to say NO – pushing someone’s hand away, ordering someone to stop, resisting emotional coercion, and telling adults. Kids are more likely to be able to take actions like these when they understand their safety.
As your child grows older, you can also enrol them in self-defence classes like Taekwondo or Karate, which will teach them the skill of defending and attacking when necessary.