Posted on August 19th, 2010 by Paulina Aguilera
Moving to a new house can be an exciting time for children. But it also means that you as a parent have some research to do, and lessons to teach your kids to protect them from child molesters in your new neighborhood.
First of all, the majority of childhood molestations occur with people the children already know. Parents of other children, friends of the family, and even relatives are among the main offenders. However, when you’re new to a neighborhood, you still need to know where the “stranger danger” lies.
Most states require sex offenders to register after they have been convicted of their crimes. Check out the National Alert Registry to find out who the sexual predators in your new neighborhood are. You will have access to any aliases the offenders have gone by in the past, as well as their addresses and pictures. You can also sign up to receive “Red Alerts” when a new sexual offender has moved in the neighborhood via e-mail.
Aside from starting a free account with the National Alert Registry, you need to open the lines of communication with your child in order to protect them as much as possible. Here is what you need to keep in mind before moving when you have this conversation with your children:
- Talk to your kids about their bodies. They need to know that “private parts” are really private. This may lead to a “birds and the bees” conversation, so be prepared to answer the questions that may follow. Let them know that no one is to touch them there – no children, no big kids, and certainly no adults.
- Always know the whereabouts of your children. Since it’s a new neighborhood, your family should explore it together so everyone can be acquainted with the new area. If your child is old enough to handle a cell phone, there are phones targeted for kids, such as TicTalk, where you can program a set amount of phone numbers, including 911. This is a great option for children under 12.
- Make the time to be a part of your children’s activities. An active parent is an aware parent. If you enroll your child in little league, go to the practices and games so you can observe the adults around your children.
- Listen to your child and pay attention if there behavior changes from one day to the next. If your child has already been the victim of sexual assault, the signs will be there. They may withdraw from the family, or stop doing activities that they loved before because they are afraid of the people they will come in contact with. Be a good listener, and let your child know that they can talk to you about anything.
- Make learning about safety your number one priority. You can do this by “role-playing” different dangerous scenarios in a public place. Teach your child to use a pay phone if they’re not ready for a cell phone. Remember to tell your kids NEVER talk to strangers, no matter what they may entice them with.
- Do background checks on the people you want to hire as sitters or nannies. Check their references and make sure they have a clean record. Talk to other local parents who have used their services before to see what they have to say.
The best thing you can do as a parent in a new neighborhood is to stay alert on behalf of you and your child. Everyone will be a stranger, but by staying actively aware of who your child is with, where they are, and how they are behaving, you can avert childhood trauma for your kids.
This entry was posted on Thursday, August 19th, 2010 at 10:01 am and is filed under Moving Tips. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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