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What can you do to protect your child from predators? We've taken a list of 5 things from the book The Guardians of Innocence by Mary Muller.
Keep in mind that all of this can be taught to a child in a nonthreatening, calm, and resolute manner.
1. Never force your child to sit on the lap, kiss, hug, or touch anyone she does not wish to, even if it’s a relative. Even though this might seem rude to you, this gives a child a sense of empowerment and teaches her that she can say no to unwanted contact.
2. Make sure your child knows about “secrets.” Secrets are only for Christmas presents or birthday surprises. Teach your child that it is not right for an adult to ask her to keep a kiss or a touch secret.
3. With the increase in child predators seeking out young victims, parents need to initiate situational education to include “what if” practice drills for children of all ages – whether it’s what to do at the store, in the park, walking to the corner store or school, or even playing in their own front yard.
4. When it comes to pornography, one of the most immediate and vital tools is to make sure your children know how to exit inappropriate websites. In the time it takes for them to repeatedly try to exit a pornography teaser site that had caught them by surprise and “mouse trapped” them, they were probably deluged with one vile and shocking picture after another.
5. If you have children and you do not need to have a webcam, do not have one on your computer. Teach your children to use webcams only to communicate with people they know. Make sure children understand that what they do on a webcam is not necessarily private. Teach them to never do anything in front of a webcam that they wouldn’t want the entire world to see.
In addition to teaching your children these principles, here are some text and chat abbreviations that you may want to become familiar with. Additional abbreviations are found in the book The Guardians of Innocence by Mary Muller.
182 – I hate you
143 – I love you
1174 – Nude club
ALAP – As late as possible
ASL – Age/Sex/Location
CD9, Code 9 – Parents are around