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Child Sex Offender Residing in VancouverFebruary 14th, 2018 | by admin admin | in News | 56
On February 4, 2011, the Vancouver Police issued a public warning that Kenneth Wayne Cummings, a sex offender who poses a “significant risk” to the safety of children, will be living in a halfway house in Vancouver. As a parent, how do you respond to such a warning? Obviously, you can’t lock up your kids 24/7 nor can you ignore the warning.
In this case, it would be a good idea to check out the linkabove and take note of Cummings’ photo and description. Beyond that, though,how do you protect your children from adults who would exploit them?
The Canadian Centre for Child Protection has developed a parent guide. In it, you will find a primer on child sexual abuse, including worksheets on risk factors and safeguards. For example, does your child display confidence and make friends easily? Is she securely attached to a trusted adult? When he’s upset, does he reach out to a trusted adult? The care and support of family will go a long way toward safeguarding your child.
Staying connected with your kids can help prevent abuse. Even as your children grow older, remain involved in their relationships with adults and other children. Get to know their friends, and their friends’ parents, before allowing sleepovers. If they take on babysitting or lawn mowing jobs, ensure the work environment is safe.
Similarly, ask the organizations that serve your child – schools, sports leagues, day cares, etc. -- about their child protection policies. Talk to your son about the teachers, coaches and other adults in his life. Watch for the subtle process of “grooming.” A sexual predator may, after making friends with a child, begin testing his boundaries by telling sexual jokes and engaging in roughhousing, back rubs and other non-sexual touching. The rough play then progresses to “accidental” sexual touching.
That’s why personal boundaries are important. Does your child understand what “OK touching” is? Is she prepared to say “no” to touching that makes her feel uncomfortable? This means that if she refuses to kiss Grandpa, you will need to respect her right to make that decision.
Set safety rules. Teach younger children to use the buddy system when going places, and to ask for your permission before going anywhere with anyone. By going over “what if” scenarios, you can help your child to recognize potentially dangerous situations and consider appropriate responses.
Help your child understand what true friendship is. As he grows older, have conversations about healthy and unhealthy relationships. Attention and affection does not always equal friendship. Good friends don’t threaten you or force you to keep inappropriate secrets.
These ongoing conversations will not only protect your children against predators, but also draw you closer together as a family. Talk, talk and talk some more. You will be glad you did.
What are your thoughts on these and other safety guidelines in the parent guide? Are we being paranoid or realistic? Do all the rules prevent teachers and coaches from developing warm relationships with kids? Post a comment through the link below.
Author: Susanna Chu