Radio Show URL: How to Protect Kids from Child Molesters, by Lauren Ayers, Ph.D.
Summary: Dr. Lauren Ayers is a practicing psychologist and writer with children and grandchildren of her own. Dr. Ayers believes that each generation has to focus on different issues regarding children. In the past, for example, it was important to focus on eradicating polio due to its effects on children. At this point in time, the focus should be on eradicating sex crimes against children.
Sexual abuse against children is a topic that is difficult to talk about, but one that needs to be discussed! If we, as adults are afraid to discuss it, then that sends a message to children that they need to deal with the situation on their own, which is the wrong message to send. For that reason, it is very important that adults discuss this issue and learn to teach children about sexual abuse properly, so that they will both know what warning signs to watch for and when to tell a trusted adult.
Most important to remember when teaching children about sexual abuse is that children have minds that are not fully developed and understand things differently than adults. Children often times learn that is something bad is happening, they should not tell adults. This is alarming, because if children don’t tell someone that something is wrong, then nothing can be done to change the situation.
In order to deal with the issue of children avoiding telling adults when something bad is happening, we need to teach children a few things. Such as to always have a “back door.” By this Dr. Ayers means that children should learn not to go into a place without a second way to remove themselves from the situation. An example would be that children should not get into a car with someone, because they can’t get out of a car easily. This protects them…
A second thing that we need to teach children is to not keep secrets. Children need to know that secrets are not good and that they should always check their secrets with adults. That way, if someone tells them to keep a secret, they will automatically ask their trusted adult (such as a parent) about it. Then the adult can decide what to do about the information.
Another thing that we can do is change sexual abuse prevention courses for adults. By changing the way that parents deal with bad situations. An example would be to teach parents to contact mandated reporters when they are unsure about a situation. Mandated reporters are licensed individuals, such as a school nurse, who are required to report sexual abuse and are trained to do so. If a parent, for instance, feels unsure about an incident she could discuss it with a school nurse who would be better equipped to say whether that incident should be reported or that it is something not to worry about.
Another trap to watch out for is the internet. Kids today are spending more time online and less time with their families. This is especially important because a lot of children know more about the internet than their parents and are therefore very vulnerable to sexual predators. One way to teach children about the internet is to teach them that it is their responsibility to protect younger children by reporting when bad things happen. They can do this through www.cybertipline.com, which is run by the FBI and they can decide what to do with the information.
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