Child Predators - Keeping Your Kids Safe from the Predators

The recent alleged abduction, rape and murder of eight-year old Sandra Cantu from Tracy, CA by Sunday School teacher, Melissa Huckaby, is a wake-up call for parents. Recent statistics from the Crimes Against Children Research Center cite that there are between 60,000 - 70,000 arrests for sex crimes against children every year. Although crimes against children are down, it is crucial that parents understand what to do to keep their children safe from child predators.

According to Laura Ramirez, author of the award-winning parenting book Keepers of the Children: Native American Wisdom and Parenting parents need to realize that it's not enough to teach their children to stay away from strangers because the majority of crimes committed against children (rape, abduction and murder) are committed by persons who are known to the family.

Here are some tips for keeping your children safe from child predators:

  • Raise children to trust their instincts.
  • Give your children the time and attention they need. Child predators prey on kids who are not getting enough attention or who come from troubled or broken homes. Pedophiles seduce these kids emotionally by giving them the attention they crave.
  • Stop training children to be nice. Teach them to be real instead—to be connected to their feelings and to trust their instincts about others.
  • Don't raise your children to blindly follow authority. It's important to teach your child how to spot others who use people for personal gain. Ramirez explains this more fully in her book.
  • Teach children that niceness does not necessarily equal goodness. Psychopaths trick others by being overly nice or helpful. This was one of the techniques that the infamous serial killer, Ted Bundy, used. After he was captured, many people who thought they knew him did not believe he could be guilty because in their words, "He was so nice."
  • Support your children's perceptions of others, including adults.
  • Although we've been taught that it is wise to teach children to stay away from strangers, statistics tell us that we need to be more concerned about relatives, neighbors, teachers, coaches and people working in your home. Make sure that children know that they can tell you about any adult with whom they feel uncomfortable. In Ramirez's book, she teaches parents how to keep a watchful eye on these child guardians.
  • When hiring a babysitter or nanny, use a baby sitting service that does background checks.
  • Check to make sure that church workers, coaches and anyone who has close, regular contact with your children have undergone background checks. If not, do a background check on anyone you are suspicious of who has access to your child. It's a simple, inexpensive and anonymous way to discover who you are dealing with. The link above will take you to a company that will give you instant access to full details of a person's prior criminal activity.
  • Get a GPS monitoring system for your child, so you will always know your child's whereabouts. This is also a quick, easy way to find your child when he or she gets lost. The company also gives you a free child identification kit which is something every parent should have.
  • Get to know people before you entrust them with your children's care. Don't be fooled by an adult's credentials or position within the church or community. Here is a checklist of potential warning signs for spotting a child predator.

Rather than frightening parents, these tips should make you more aware, so you can better protect your children. In Ramirez's parenting book, Keepers of the Children: Native American Wisdom and Parenting, she shows parents a unique way to teach children the basics of psychology, using Mother Nature. This allows children to develop discernment skills that will keep them safe from harm.

"One way to keep your children safe from child predators and other manipulative people is to teach them to judge others less by what they say, than by what they do," advises Laura Ramirez.

According to Ramirez, it is wise to teach children about the different types of people in the world while they are still under your protective wing. Kids need to learn how to survive in this world before they can begin to thrive. First, of course, you should learn warning signs for child pedophiles.

Parents need to educate themselves about the child predators among us and then teach their children what to do if they encounter them. According to Ramirez, "The trick is to teach your child to be aware, rather than frightened. The last thing we want to do is to raise good kids who go out into the world unprepared to meet its challenges because they have a naive view of the world."

Laura Ramirez is the author of the award-winning parenting book, Keepers of the Children: Native American Wisdom and Parenting. The book teaches parents how to be raise children to thrive in the world first by surviving in it and learning how to act from integrity and strength. The book won a Nautilus award for "books that encourage conscious living and social change."

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