LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – It’s Parenting Connection Tuesday and 6 News is here for you with tips, strategies, and helpful reminders from local child development experts on how we can be better parents and guardians.
Today’s topic: Keeping kids safe by choosing the right adults
According to RAINN, the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization, 93% of the time, a juvenile involved in a sexual abuse case knew their perpetrator. Child development experts at Michigan State University’s Extension office are saying, it’s vital to take the proper precautions and measures when choosing which adults are safe to be around and care for your child. This includes, according to child development expert Kylie Rymanowicz, a deeper look into people that you’ve known and loved for years, and not for just possible sexual abuse, but abuse or neglect in general.
“It’s easy to get into this mindset of, well, I know this person.. I’ve known this person my whole life so of course, I trust them, but without doing the work of thinking about whether you should trust them. It sounds uncomfortable, especially if it is someone you know and love like a family member, but it’s really important to think about context.
Here is a list of tips from the MSU Extension office to help you find the right family and friends that are safe to be with your child alone:
*Consider the context. This means, learning how to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your family members and friends, related to how they can safely supervise your child. If grandpa can’t walk very well, it may not be a good idea to leave him alone with a wild 3-year old who loves to run around.
*Educate yourself on child predators. The more you know about their habits or ways of manipulation, the easier it’ll be to see the red flag warning signs.
*Identify safe adults. It’s important to recognize the difference between a trusted adult, and a person you have a good relationship with.
Experts say you may also need to consider when an adult is safe for your child to be in their care. For example, it’s not a good idea to leave your child with a trusted sibling, if they have a work project due or need to study for a college exam.