Can You Spot the Grooming Behaviors of a Predator?
While there is no “typical sexual predator” there are things we as parents can do to recognize predatorial behavior. While filling one of the criteria doesn’t make a person a child molester, filling multiple criteria should raise some flags. It should also be noted that for sexual predators, finding a new victim is the main focus of his or her life. For instance, a sexual predator might by employed or volunteer somewhere where he or she is likely to work closely with children.
In a process known as “grooming”, a sexual predator first identifies then gains access to a child by any means necessary. After identifying the victim, the predator then sets out to gain the child’s trust, break down defenses, and convince the child to engage in the desired sex act.
For more information check out, 8 Ways A Predator Might Groom Your Child or our books, 30 Days of Sex Talks, Empowering Your Child with Knowledge of Sexual Intimacy–these are available for parents of kids ages 3-7, 8-11, and 12+.
- Begin talking with your child about sex and anatomy at an early age.
- Teach your children that any physical contact between child and adult is something to be wary of and questioned.
- Teach your children to recognize grooming behavior.
- Let your children know that they can always come to you and trust you with concerns.
- Never blindly surrender responsibility for your children without question.
- You as the parent should know your child’s teachers, day care providers, coaches, and any other adults in their lives.
- Be aware of what apps your children are using and monitor all of their online activity.
- Visit schools and practices unannounced. Ask questions.