I was talking to the children about stranger safety years ago, and Ellie, who was five then, said, “Don’t worry, Mom, I will kick him hard and run away.” That’s great, except she wasn’t factoring in one thing – the fear that comes with situations like that. Fear paralyzes everything within us. She needed to be empowered on how to respond to the fear. Sexual predators work with fear but also shame. Shame is so crippling, especially to young teens whose brains are still growing.
I found a video like the one below (I can’t find the original one), and after watching it, realized I needed to share it with my children to show them the ease of how someone gets entangled with online predators, but more so the shame that keeps them there.
When (not if) you see something come tell me so that I can help you. Do not give out your last name, phone number, age, address, or state to anyone without my permission. If you make a mess or cross the line, know I am here to help you. Keeping you safe is my number one goal. Not everyone you connect with online is who they say they are.
I encourage you to watch this and then decide if it is appropriate to share it with your children and talk about it together. #BeInCtrl – A Short Film on Online Grooming – YouTube