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Protecting Kids from Predators

I talked once online with a parent who said they taught their kid some recommended method for protecting the kid from sexual predators that boiled down to giving the kid a short list of trusted adults who could do things like change their diapers. They were then instructed to "scream if anyone not on that list tries to touch your private parts."

The result: The child dutifully began screaming at a routine medical exam because the doctor touched their private parts (with a parent present and, no, the doctor was not up to any kind of funny business). So, then the parent had to add "doctors" to their list of approved people.

Okay, this is sort of a humorous outcome, but there are a number of actually serious problems with this approach. For starters, child molesters are generally going to try to be on the approved short list. Also, it gives the child no means to figure out who to trust for themselves, so it really doesn't prepare them for being an adult. I was…

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