Preparing Without Paralyzing: Protecting Children Against Predators

Preparing Without Paralyzing: Protecting Children Against Predators
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Preparing Without Paralyzing: Protecting Children Against Predators

Every parent’s worst nightmare is the thought of their child being the target of any form of abuse or abduction. The fear can be so overwhelming that it is often paralyzing.

Preparing Without Paralyzing: Protecting Children Against Predators

It would be ideal to keep our children in a safe bubble and not expose them to all the ugly that exist in the world, but that’s unrealistic. As parents, we are our kids’ main source of protection, and we must equip them to be just as vigilant in protecting themselves.

But… how do we prepare them against predators without paralyzing them with the same fear that we as adults know all too well?

Education Don’t be afraid to talk to your children about all the people and things in the world that can harm them. Keep conversations age-appropriate, but be real with them. Let your children know that there are bad people in the world who want to do bad things to children. Based on their age and maturity level, have a candid conversation with your kids about sexual abuse from adults and other children. Stress to them that oftentimes sexual abuse and exploitation come from a person that they know, including family, friends, and those in their close circles at school, church, or the community. Perpetrators of Sexual Violence: Statistics | RAINN Shift their thinking from “stranger-danger” to “tricky people”. Tell your children about the possibility of abduction. It’s okay to tell them that abduction is not likely to happen to them but prepare them for the rare possibility. Share that some children experience a different reality than them, which includes emotional, physical, and sexual abuse and neglect so they have insight into a reality that is painful, but necessary to be aware of. National Statistics on Child Abuse – National Children’s Alliance

Empowerment Now that you’ve had some hard conversations about types of predators with your children, it is time to equip them with skills to protect themselves against abuse and abduction. There are many resources that parents can utilize to prepare children against these dangers. Atlanta-based non-profit organization, Revved Up Kids, provides in-person and virtual training options, including self-defense for children and teens. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children provides amazing tools to empower children against sexual abuse and abduction (KidSmartz) as well as online exploitation (NetSmartz Home). These resources are already vetted and are kid-friendly, so don’t be afraid to utilize these tools with your children.

Experience Treat your children so well; with so much respect and so much love; that when someone treats them badly, they will recognize it right away. How our children view and experience the world is a direct reflection of the environment we provide them with at home. Cultivate relationships with your children that promote open communication and encourage them that they can bring anything to you, even the hard stuff.  When out in the community with your kids, have them identify people and situations that should be questioned or approached with caution; this helps sharpen their skills while they are with you and while you know they are safe. Therefore, they will tap into those instincts whenever they are without you. Let your children see you take up for them, against family, friends, teachers, and strangers. Let them know you have their backs for the small and big problems. This shows them how vigilant you are in protecting them and it gives them the courage to protect themselves with the same grit,

Preparing Without Paralyzing: Protecting Children Against Predators

It’s tough talking to our little ones about predators and possibilities.

But, it is so necessary for their protection! Prepare them! But, don’t paralyze them with fear. 

Ensure them that you will always protect them and that they have the skills deep within to use their little voices against big fears!

Have you had these tough but necessary conversations about predators with your kids? What advice do you have to add?

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Lauraill Williams
Lauraill is an attorney specializing in the areas of juvenile law and family, but her most important job holds the title “Mama”. Lauraill spends most of her non-work-related time planning both small and large events for her three babies; first born son Arlington, middle child princess Logan and baby boy Destin. She and her husband, Abraham, were both born and raised in Georgia and are currently raising their tribe in McDonough, Ga. Lauraill loves yoga, spa days, party planning, and all forms of art. She has always enjoyed writing and has tackled some of life’s biggest transitions through blogging. Lauraill believes wholeheartedly that “the perfect day, starts with coffee and ends with wine.”


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