Children and teenagers today are exposed to the boundless world of the internet. This means that access to communication to all kinds of people is a possibility we can’t always control.
When children and teens are exposed to strangers, peers, family members, and even people of authority in an instant and direct method, it opens their world to the possibilities of abuse and exploitation.
Sexual predators are everywhere, and with society being obsessed with social media, your child’s phone and access to the internet could potentially place them at risk.
As a parent or caregiver, what can you do? You can’t constantly monitor your child 24/7, and some predators can even be closer to home and not found online.
90% of child sexual abuse happens in situations where the family and the child know the abuser. And so, what can you do?
In this article, we’ll discuss what you can do to protect your child from a predator.
How To Protect Your Child from Predators
While there are no guarantees that you can completely deter potential predators, being aware and vigilant of the people involved with your children, educating your child, and being there for them, are the core components of improving your efforts at protecting your child.
Here are some ways you can protect your child from predators:
1. Be Involved in Your Child’s Life
Predators generally look for children whose parents are not as involved with their lives. An example would be a parent who’s always busy at work, someone who leaves the child with a babysitter most of the time, or parents who do not know about their child’s activities, friends, and what goes on in their life.
It would be best if you showed an interest in what your child does and were involved somehow. This means meeting their friends, teachers, coaches, knowing the details about their activities, knowing and observing their social media accounts, and making sure you know where your child is at all times, who they are with, and what their activities are.
By being involved, you signal that you care about your child and that you are watching. Involved parents can deter a potential predator.
2. Trust Your Gut
If your child is talking to someone online at the wee hours of dawn, or if your child is acting unusual, such as being happier than usual, or being more secretive, trust your instinct that something’s not right.
If your child is also going to a sleepover, going to a party, or meeting up with a friend and you feel that something’s off, but you can’t put your finger on it, trust your gut and talk to your child about it. If you don’t trust the people involved in the activity, you should refrain your child from going.
Remember that our instincts protect us from danger, and it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
When you trust your gut, it can also mean that you may offend some people. This can include babysitters that you don’t trust, teachers that you think are acting inappropriately, and even daycare centers that you feel are not licensed.
It’s okay to air out your concerns with the people involved, schools, or even your child. If you don’t feel comfortable with your child’s friend or anyone in their life, always trust your instinct and air it out.
3. Listen To Your Child
You need to talk to your child and have open communication. Take time off every day to sit down with your child and ask about their day, ask about their friends, activities, and what goes on in their lives.
If they have problems, tell them that they can talk to you about them. Tell them that you’re open to listening to them and respecting what they think and feel if something’s bothering them.
For example, you are planning to go to an uncle’s house for a BBQ. Your child doesn’t want to go because they think the uncle is weird. Instead of saying they shouldn’t talk like that about family, you can ask your child what makes the uncle strange.
Try to understand why your child doesn’t want to be near certain people and listen to them instead of shutting them out.
4. Consider a Spy Software
No one wants to spy on their children, but if your child is not opening up to you and you want to know what goes on with their online activities, then a cell phone tracker for parental control might be what you need.
With these trackers, you can gain access to your child’s phone activities, as well as their social media accounts and any form of communication method they have on their phones. You can read all the messages that come in and out of their phone, as well as view their contacts, planned activities, phone calls, and even pictures they receive, send, and keep.
Also Read: How to put parental controls on a tablet
Predators are everywhere, and they can look like anyone. They may even be your child’s teachers, coaches, people they meet online, and even close family friends and relatives. In this day and age, instant and direct access to communication online pose risks for children, which can be the avenue for predators to strike.
Protect your child by making sure you are involved in their life, give them a chance to talk to you about anything, and that you are not afraid to offend anyone that you think may be suspicious.
If you want to gain control in providing your child protection, a cell phone tracker for parental control is one of the best ways you can protect your child from predators.