There is a valid reason why a child is often a better judge of character than their parent or any adult for that matter. Gut feelings are survival instincts we were born with and their job is to keep us alive. A child's gut feelings are raw as they have yet to be taught to gloss over them with politeness or push them aside opting instead for logic. In fact, gut feelings have absolutely nothing to do with logic, which is why they are so often ignored. The problem with ignoring them is that they are the one and only trustworthy mechanism for your personal safety or that of your child.
Uncle Bob Story:
Let's say Uncle Bob comes to visit every Thanksgiving and stays with your family for 4 days. The whole family adores Uncle Bob as he is fun, always has a good joke and is willing to pitch in and help.
Your 5-year-old comes to you and says he doesn't like it when Uncle Bob sits him on his lap. You may say something like, “Oh, Uncle Bob is only here for a few days and wants to spend time with his nephew, " or “That's silly. Go play in your room. "Let me ask you two questions:
- Are you going to force your child to be near people he is uncomfortable with so that you don't feel embarrassed?
- If Uncle Bob is a pedophile, are you going to get the vibes not being in his age range or is your child, who is in his age range?
See how easy it is to tell (and show) your child that his survival instincts are unimportant? Do you think he will come to you again in the same situation? Do you think your response could possibly cost him his innocence?
The point I'm making is brutal because of its importance and intensity. We have to reawaken our sensitivities as adults because society has programmed us to avoid making waves. I'm sure you agree that making waves is far superior to enabling predators.
Remember, pedophiles groom children and families to trust and believe in them before they attack. They often target single moms and enter the relationship as the savior, the hero. They provide comfort, stability and a father figure. . . until they attack. Then people's lives are changed forever.
What if Uncle Bob is not a pedophile; your child just does not like him, you ask?
Your child will have to go to school and work with people he doesn't like. Home is supposed to be a safe haven. Letting him know that his feelings are valid and of the utmost importance by helping make other arrangements for Uncle Bob will raise his self-esteem and enhance your relationship with him forever.
There are many excellent Uncle Bobs out there just as there are many excellent men who date and marry single moms. The key is to trust your gut feelings and pay especially close attention to your child's. Facilitate the growth and awareness of their survival instincts and in so doing, you will automatically acknowledge and trust your own, which will keep the entire family safer from creeps and criminals.
What if you haven't followed your gut feelings and nothing bad has happened to you?
Super! But when you acknowledge your gut feelings, which you have about every person, place or situation, you will know when one is exceptionally strong. Follow that one. It could save your life or that of a loved one.
If you have pets, you've probably noticed their behavior around people who turn out to be detrimental is or was different than around those who are of good character. That is because animals rely on their survival instincts (gut feelings) to stay alive and never question them. If they are uncomfortable, there is no question and they do not stick around to be polite. We can and should learn a lot from our pets.
Tips to help you nurture your child's gut feelings:
- Ask your child how he or she feels about people you came in contact with throughout the day.
- Ask your child which person he or she would feel comfortable asking for help if if was needed.
- Have a secret code word so that your child can alert you when he or she feels uncomfortable around someone so you can take action and remove yourselves from the situation immediately.
- Make a pact with your child that you will believe him or her when the topic is safety and that they will always tell the truth about safety situations. In my Safe Kids class, we have both parent and child actually sign an agreement. It makes both parent and child feel more accountable and comforts the child.
- Always opt for your child's comfort with people first and yours second.
Now you know why children are often better judges of character than adults even though they may not know what it is they are doing.
Bonus Safety Tip: Children also need to be taught confident body language since pedophiles are experts at reading it and select victims based on weak body language. And now I invite you to be safer by visiting http://www.PersonalSafetyTrainer.com to grab your sample Safety Quick Tip and the option of receiving one each week bonuses.
From Kelly Rudolph - “Your Personal Safety Trainer"