The majority of child predators, unfortunately, turn out to be someone you know – an acquaintance, a friend, and even a family member. A false sense of complacency sometimes keeps parents from spotting a child predator within their midst until it’s too late. This highlights the importance of being ‘present’ and closely monitoring your kids’ activities.
What Does a Child Predator Look For?
According to The Children’s Assessment Center, there are more than 42 million victims of child sexual assault in the United States.
Child predators may prefer a specific gender, a specific age range, etc.; however, choosing their victims all boils down to two things:
- Child’s Vulnerability
Predators target kids who crave attention and affection. And those who have low self-esteem.
Predators are always on the lookout for opportunities to gain a child’s and their guardians’ trust, to be alone with a child, and so on.
7 Signs Your Child Is Being Targeted by a Child Predator
Oftentimes, parents only realize that their child has been victimized by a predator when it’s too late. Here are some signs that could indicate that your child is being groomed by a child predator.
- Spends Too Much Time Online
If your child spends an unhealthy amount of time online, especially on messaging apps, this in itself is a cause for concern. If they are unwilling to share even the tiniest details of what they are doing online, especially who they are chatting with, this could be a major red flag.
- Uses Multiple or Fake Online Accounts
Make it a habit to check for hidden or secret social accounts. Child predators usually convince their victims to have an account dedicated especially to communications between them.
- Calls To or From Unfamiliar Numbers
Watch out for frequent calls to and from unfamiliar numbers on your child’s phone. Predators would ask their victims to keep the calls and their identities a secret.
- Pornography on Their Phone or Computer
If your child suddenly has pornography, especially child pornography, then this could be a red flag. Predators often show child pornography to their targets to try and normalize their inappropriate actions toward victims.
- Receives Mysterious Gifts and Packages
If your child comes home with stuff from someone for no apparent reason, this could be a red flag. The more so if it involves expensive ‘gifts’ and your child won’t tell you who gave them to them.
- Overly Secretive Behavior
If your child suddenly gets overly secretive, this could be indicative of something bigger. If they become overly protective of their phone or computer, or won’t tell you what they’re up to, these could be red flags. This is especially so if your child used to have no problem telling you about stuff or showing you their mobile device.
- Drastic Changes in Mood
If your child suddenly withdraws from family and friends, this could mean that they are being groomed and told to do so or they have already fallen victim to unimaginable acts. Behavioral changes such as risky behavior, rebellious behavior, and such, could also be massive red flags.
How to Spot a Child Predator
Child predators don’t exactly have a particular ‘look’. They do, however, exhibit certain behaviors:
- Shows special interest in your child
They seem fascinated by your child- always wanting to know about them or to be near them. They also lavish the child with gifts, attention, affection, and such.
- Pushes limits and boundaries
They get too touchy – hugging, tickling, wrestling, kissing or holding a child. They also often ignore the child’s resistance to the touches.
- Makes inappropriate remarks on child’s appearance
Their fascination with the child often pushes them to make inappropriate remarks about the child’s body and appearance.
- Purposefully walking in on a child in the bathroom
They make a point to accidentally walk in on kids where there’s a chance that the kids may not have clothes on.
- Tells suggestive stories to children/teens
They point out sexual images or tell suggestive stories to desensitize the kids from inappropriate actions and talk.
- Appears “too helpful” or “too good to be true”
They frequently offer to babysit, take your kids out, buy gifts for no apparent reason, and do similar things. There’s a thin line between being kind, helpful, and fond of kids and being a child predator.
How to Keep Your Kid Safe from Child Predators
You can’t really guarantee your child’s safety but you can do everything in your power to help keep them safe.
- Empower Your Child
Teach your child that they can say no to someone or to things that make them uncomfortable. Don’t instill fear in your child, instead, give them the confidence, tools, and knowledge to prevent and manage dangers.
- Educate Your Child
Teach them what to do and what not to do to prevent falling victim to predators. Teach your child what to do when faced with danger. Teach them to speak out.
- Create a Safe Circle with Trusted Adults
Normalize talking about the dangers of child predators within your family and your community. Enlist the help of trusted adults to look after each other’s kids.
- Be Attentive
Listen to what your child has to say and respect their feelings. If they feel uncomfortable, get to the root of it and don’t brush it off.
- Closely Monitor Your Child’s Activities
You can use parental controls from Google Play Store or the App Store that allows you how to see someone’s locations. You can also use a third-party spy app for free; you can opt for paid remote spying software for more in-depth monitoring of your child’s online and in-phone activities.
Your child could unknowingly be mingling with a child predator. It is your duty as a parent to try and spot child predators and keep them at bay.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is a child predator?
Child predators target minors as victims. Their crimes are often sexual in nature.
- How to protect kids from child predators?
Start by educating and empowering your child. Be attentive to your kids. Also, learn how to spot child predators and enlist other trusted adults to create a safe circle around your kids.
- Can monitoring spyware for iPhone or Android help keep kids safe?
Yes, an Android or iPhone spy app allows you to keep tabs on your child’s in-device and online engagements. This helps you determine if they are being contacted by possible child predators.
- What can I monitor using phone spy apps?
Using the best spy phone apps, you can monitor call logs, messages, apps, GPS locations, and multimedia files. More advanced spy apps like TurboSpy lets you monitor social and messaging apps and web browser history.
Tiffany is a lead writer who has a passion for all of the latest use of technology. Tiffany has been writing and delivering the latest app reviews and news for Turbo. She is an unbelievable author and continues to produce must-read content.