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If we are going to protect our children from sexual offenders, then we have to educate ourselves. We have to understand the mind of a sexual predator. It isn't enough to periodically check the sex offender lists that your state maintains. We must be proactive!
Sex offenders seek out children because they are easy prey and vulnerable. It is easy to win a child's trust. They start out slowly and work their way into the mind of a child. They typically don't even have to use force to manipulate a child to do what they want. We, as citizens, parents, and educators, have to teach our children about these sexual offenders.
* Talk to your child about sexual offenders.
* Explain to your child about what they do. (Even children as young as three or four can be taught.)
* Teach your child that her body is private, and that she must not let someone touch her private parts.
* Teach your children that they shouldn't undress in front of someone even if that person appears to be nice to them.
* Teach them to immediately tell you if someone tries to touch them, asks them to undress, tries to undress them, or tries to get them to touch that person.
* Give your children lots of good attention. Spend time with them. Talk with them.
* Teach them not to give out any personal information about themselves or others in their family.
* Help them understand the difference in going to someone like a police officer or teacher for help and going to someone else, who really wants to harm them.
* Practice role-playing so that your child is prepared in case he is approached by a potential child sex offender.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|