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What is Child Grooming? How Can Parents Protect Their Kids?

How to Deal with Child Grooming?

You might be wondering: What is child grooming? Child grooming refers to befriending and creating an emotional connection with a kid to lower their inhibitions with the aim of sexual abuse. Malicious people can use child grooming to lure your kid into various illicit businesses like cybersex trafficking, child prostitution, and child trafficking.

what is child grooming

What Are The Different Stages of Grooming?

The offenders of this act often target kids who have less parental oversight. Their grooming plan can last for years without anybody noticing. There are different stages involved before your child falls prey to this heinous act. Here are steps that offenders usually use to lure unsuspecting children into their nets.

STAGE 1: Establishing Friendship

The sex offender can start by gaining trust. They can do this by watching and gathering sensitive information about your kid. They will learn about their needs and offer a solution. Sex offenders easily mix with responsible caretakers as they generate warm and carefully assed attention. They are often careful not to raise eyebrows and often polite, disciplined, and understand how to maneuver and poke without revealing themselves.

STAGE 2: Filling Their Need

The next thing a sex offender will do is to fill the needs of your kid that you think is not important in your kid's life but are idealized. They may give them gifts and affection. Since your child now feels a sense of protection and trust the sex offender, they will open up to any offer. Now: That becomes a perfect time to introduce alcohol or even drugs because they feel comfortable together. The levels of drug use can gradually increase due to the frequent experiment your child is exposed to.

STAGE 3: Isolating Your Kid

For the plan to be perfect, the grooming sex offender may use their special relationship with your kid to create situations where they will be alone together. In turn, this isolation will lead to a special connection. Special trips, coaching, tutoring, and babysitting can enable this isolation.

When the sex offender cultivates a sense in your kid that they love them in a way that you cannot, this will reinforce the special relationship. You might even unconsciously feed into this through your appreciation for that unique relationship.

STAGE 4: Sexualizing their Relationship

Desensitizing your child to the point that renders you a second class human to them is the purpose of this isolation. When your kids feel they can get a better life without you, that’s the pinnacle stage of grooming. That's also detrimental to your bonding. Most of the time, they will make your kids feel like you don’t understand anything about their generation.

Once the offender gains adequate emotional dependence and trust, they will sexualize the relationship. Desensitization can occur through pictures, talking, or creating situations where the offender and your kid will be naked. The offender will exploit your kid's natural curiosity and use feelings of stimulation to start having sex with your kid. The offender can shape your kid's sexual preferences and manipulate what they find exciting. That way, they can extend the relationship.

STAGE 5: Maintaining Control

Once the offender is abusing your kid, they will use secrecy and blame as a way of maintaining their silence and ensure your kid continues to participate.

For those who were asking what is child grooming and the steps that offenders use? This has answered your questions. Now: Here are some of the signs that you should look out for to know if an offender is grooming your kid.

How Can Parents Protect Their Children from Child Grooming?

1. Recognize the Warning Signs of Grooming

Being your child’s friend sounds like a perfect tool to curb grooming. It will help you recognize the signs when the grooming is still in its early stages and take action. Offenders use gifts to flatter kids and their families so that they can trust them. If an adult is too interested in your kid, this is a red flag. To test the limits, perpetrators can introduce touching into the relationship. They could hug your kid to find out how they will react. They can do this in front of you or when you are not around.

how to tell if a child is being groomed

2. Keep an Eye on What Your Children Are Searching or Talking With Strangers Online

Today, every kid is on social media or using the internet. You should check what they are searching for when they are on the internet and who they are talking to. Fortunately, this is where FamiSafe comes in. The app allows you to check your children's browsing history. You will know which websites they like visiting and who they talk to every day. You can monitor their social media accounts and check their comments and messages. In turn, this will help you know if a sex offender is grooming your kid.

FamiSafe also detects when your kid accesses suspicious content online. It will then notify you so that you can take action. With the app, you can block websites and apps that you don't want your child to access. The bottom line is: FamiSafe allows you to know early when someone is trying to groom your kid. In turn, this will help you to stop the relationship while it's still in the early stages.

  • Location Tracking & Geo-fencing
  • App Blocker
  • Web Filtering
  • Screen Time Control
  • Smart Parental Control Setting

3. Educate Your Kids about Grooming

Ensuring that your kid is aware of the tactics that sex offenders use is the best weapon for foiling their attempts. Besides, preventing their plans from the early stages is the best approach. Now that your kids know you are monitoring their every move, it’s time you demand they share their days schedule regularly. Groomers are always afraid of getting caught. That’s why they prefer going for timid kids.

Sex offenders don’t portray a scary appearance but give innocent looks to lure kids into the webs. Alert them how they pretend to be friendly to earn trust before they execute their plan. Teach your kids sex offenders can pretend to be charming people. Let them know that this is all part of their game. So to make sure that they will stop following your kid, they should let everyone know what type of person they are. Encourage your kids to always be open and not keep secrets from you. Doing this will make your kids feel free to tell you when a sex offender tries to approach them or sends them messages online.

4. Help Your Kids Form a Wholesome Understanding Towards Child Grooming

Let your kid understand that grooming is a criminal offense, and they should not tolerate it. Explain to them that grooming can happen on gaming sites, social media, or other websites that allow people to communicate and connect. Also, explain to them to be aware of a stranger telling them to keep all their conversations a secret. Make them understand that it's not normal for a stranger to send them sexual messages or try to get information about them. Tell them that sex offenders can manipulate them to send pictures or blackmail them with pictures that they have already sent.

Talk to them about the cases that have occurred in the past. Most of the approaches from these people start in person, from institutions, via the internet, or through devices that embrace education technologically. Essentially, this is vital because children think of groomers from a movie point of view. Explain to them the dangers that grooming can bring and why they should report to you when they suspect that someone is trying to groom them. Making your kids understand everything about grooming will help you foil any ill attempts before things get out of hand.

what is child grooming

In a world filled with innovations, it’s your prerogative to keep up with the most profitable and life-saving tips. Child grooming is a serious issue that requires parent's action as it will cause great harm to our kid's mental & physical health. Your children are a bigger part of the wealth you hold. As such, you should protect the life of your kids. Monitor their activities around the clock using a parental control app. The FamiSafe can help you with that. The app allows you to know what your kids are doing at any given time. You can also use the application to monitor multiple devices.

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Ankhi Bhattacharya

contributor Editor