I found out this week that a former classmate was indicted on charges of child pornography. One of the largest cases in Texas. It saddens me that someone that I sat next to in math class grew up to be a predator…but it also makes me painfully aware of just how dangerous the world really is. Out of respect for the family, I won’t link any information to this post…but I can’t keep silent about the fear it strikes in my heart.
Recently, I have begun to password protect more of my posts and to think about the security of my son. The blog world is open to mystery readers and I have made a great deal of our life public in my desire to share the joys of parenting.
I urge all parents to look closely at the information that they post. Everyone should carefully screen their photos to ensure that children are properly clothed. What is innocent to one could be temptation to another–and internet stalking occurs every day.
Never post your family name or your location. This could lead a potential predator to your door. Keep information about upcoming events limited…especially location and dates. It is easy to feel relaxed, thinking that your posts are only read by friends and family but this information is available to anyone.
Finally, talk to your children as soon as possible about good touch and bad touch and what is acceptable behavior. Open lines of communication are your best defense against your child becoming a victim. Too often children are shamed or made to believe that family members will be harmed or will be angry with them if they do not comply with an abuser.
Make sure that your child knows that Mom and Dad are ready to listen and that they should come to you when anyone makes them uncomfortable.
Finally, be aware of offenders in your area by checking the national child sex offender registry.