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Ugh. I feel so bad for those Sandusky victims. I am so disgusted by the entire grooming process and Sandusky targeting vulnerable kids from at risk homes.

 

I have been very very cautious with my ds....he is 11 1/2 now and a few times in recent months I've felt slightly over protective....after this I don't!

 

So I got to wondering about others....have any of you allowed your young child 8-12 years old to spend that kind of time with any man (besides their father)? If so are you rethinking it? Or did you already have precautions in place?

 

And have you ever noticed a man behaving like Sandusky and your 'creep meter' went off with no real proof? I just wonder how many people thought he was 'off' and just didn't have any proof.

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Yes. I actually saw a man hone in on my son a number of years ago in Whole Foods. My son was in front of the bakery counter, and this man watched him for a few minutes and then started to move up next to him. I immediately said my son's name (loudly) and came right over. The man disappeared.

 

I saw another incident (also at Whole Foods, amazingly, but it was a different branch, and also at the CVS next door) one night that upset me very deeply. A teen boy, about 14, was in CVS with an older man. They were buying some kind of supplies from the medical supply department. Then they walked, arms around each other's shoulders, to Whole Foods, where they bought alcohol. It was not hard to imagine what was going to happen next. I wanted to call the police, but I didn't, and I have never forgotten that incident. I often wonder what became of that poor boy.

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My 12 year old participates in golf. He is never alone with one coach. They have group instruction. We do not allow our kids to overnight without one of us. Mostly due to them not being medication independent but there's the element of safety too.

 

I have told all the boys that if they got a bad feeling about someone they should come to me or DH immediately. That sometimes that feeling was warning us and they should listen to it. We have told them about this story and how Sandusky 'groomed' his victims. I want them to be aware.

 

We are pretty involved parents and I know that would be a turn off to a predator. But I did my big paper in college on pedophiles and I'm probably over vigilant when it comes to that.

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I'm so glad you posted this, as I have been thinking along the same lines.

 

I have a son nearing that age. Sometimes I feel overly protective, but...

 

In my generation, predators were generally thought to be that "big bad unknown," you know? It was seldom thought or articulated that you might actually *know* the predator. Yet that was not my experience.

 

I think society acknowledges now that predators have an 'in' with children because they know them. Yet, I still see parents let their children go off with family friends, into a neighbor's house alone, etc. Honestly, that gives me the creeps.

 

When the Michael Jackson case was in the news, I kept saying, "Where are the parents in this? What parent would let their child spend the night at his house?" I feel the same exact way now with the Penn state case. (If the media is correct, he actually invited children to spend the night at his house??) Where were the parents?!

I don't think I have ever read anything stating that - - until this weekend. Our local paper ran an article by a social worker. She said, "Parents, It is NOT normal for another adult to be interested in your child. If an adult is showing interest in your child, that is a huge red flag!!"

 

Besides my own personal experience, I know of two other incidents that have really stuck in my mind. One a s*xual hazing issue within our school district and the other a casual friend's husband was arrested/jailed for child p*rn. The Penn state case doesn't change the way we handle the issue. I am already 'paranoid' and will continue to be.

There was a local news story this same week, though, that has made me rethink public restrooms. :tongue_smilie:

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There was a local news story this same week, though, that has made me rethink public restrooms. :tongue_smilie:

 

Yeah, I've embarrassed my ds more than once by opening the men's bathroom door and hollering his name. :tongue_smilie:

 

Once I sent another man in to check on him....man came back and reported 'feet' under one stall and no one else in the restroom. LOL So I patiently waited for my ds to finish his business.

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When the Michael Jackson case was in the news, I kept saying, "Where are the parents in this? What parent would let their child spend the night at his house?" I feel the same exact way now with the Penn state case. (If the media is correct, he actually invited children to spend the night at his house??) Where were the parents?!

 

They pick kids where the parents are either a)unavailable due to work b) uninterested, c) totally absent or d) star struck.

 

 

I told my ds that these predators are like the wolves that circle a herd and pick out the youngest or the weakest. Makes me sick.

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In my generation, predators were generally thought to be that "big bad unknown," you know? It was seldom thought or articulated that you might actually *know* the predator.

 

In my little town there was a terror among us kids about a certain man. I never actually laid eyes on him. Just the mention of his name would have us scrambling for the safety of our homes. I also have no idea if he was an actual threat or just an odd man.

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My son is 8 and he does not have any interaction one-on- one with other men other than my husband and my father.

 

In relation to your second question, I have had my "creep" meter go off with a family members boyfriend so I was extra careful with my kids (not just my son) but could never really put my finger on why I felt that way and I seemed to be the only one. They have since broken up so I don't have to worry about that anymore.

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I don't think I have ever read anything stating that - - until this weekend. Our local paper ran an article by a social worker. She said, "Parents, It is NOT normal for another adult to be interested in your child. If an adult is showing interest in your child, that is a huge red flag!!"

 

I know all parents want to protect their kids, but I think that whoever this social worker is, they are just dead wrong. I am often interested in other kids besides my own, and so is dh. It absolutely IS normal that some adults are interested in the welfare of children besides those who are blood related. I find it disgusting that anyone would caracterize "interest in a child" as "a huge red flag." No wonder no one will volunteer for scouts, 4h, Sunday school teachers, etc...

 

So as a social worker she is either stating that:

A: She isn't interested in her clients.

B: She IS interested in her child clients and therefore "not normal".

 

The lack of logic astounds me.

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I know all parents want to protect their kids, but I think that whoever this social worker is, they are just dead wrong. I am often interested in other kids besides my own, and so is dh. It absolutely IS normal that some adults are interested in the welfare of children besides those who are blood related. I find it disgusting that anyone would caracterize "interest in a child" as "a huge red flag." No wonder no one will volunteer for scouts, 4h, Sunday school teachers, etc...

 

So as a social worker she is either stating that:

A: She isn't interested in her clients.

B: She IS interested in her child clients and therefore "not normal".

 

The lack of logic astounds me.

 

I think it is the degree of interest.

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I think it is the degree of interest.

 

I would agree, but you have to define degree.

 

For example, making a point to speak to a kid each week when you see them... Is that over the top?

 

What about inviting them over to hang out with your kids?

 

What about offering to take them out for ice cream?

 

 

 

There is one guy I know (dad of my kid's friend) who creeps me out a bit, and I don't let my kids just go hang out at this man's house, Another dad might suggest the same type of activity and I would be fine with that. I just don't like this generalization that EVERY MAN should be viewed through the lens of "potential predator".

 

It really just makes me sad. Our boys, who we are trying to protect with this suspicion, will grow up and be viewed by the same lens. Our daughters-in-law may just decide that their FIL is "too interested" in the grandkids. Or my son's future wife may decide that her dh's brother is just not normal for wanting to take his nieces and nephews out for ice cream.

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I would agree, but you have to define degree.

 

For example, making a point to speak to a kid each week when you see them... Is that over the top?

 

What about inviting them over to hang out with your kids?

 

What about offering to take them out for ice cream?

 

 

 

There is one guy I know (dad of my kid's friend) who creeps me out a bit, and I don't let my kids just go hang out at this man's house, Another dad might suggest the same type of activity and I would be fine with that. I just don't like this generalization that EVERY MAN should be viewed through the lens of "potential predator".

 

It really just makes me sad. Our boys, who we are trying to protect with this suspicion, will grow up and be viewed by the same lens. Our daughters-in-law may just decide that their FIL is "too interested" in the grandkids. Or my son's future wife may decide that her dh's brother is just not normal for wanting to take his nieces and nephews out for ice cream.

 

I know Heather. I agree that it is sick and twisted. But what do you do? Our kids have to be protected. I feel really bad for the good men in the world. They have to be so careful.

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Well, what I have done is try to teach my kids that while there are some bad people in the world, overwhelmingly, most are good, helpful people, including the people you haven't met yet. I refuse to view every guy as a potential predator. I encourage them to talk to strangers, make eye contact, start a conversation. I don't really worry about strangers at all.

 

In the Penn State thing, the kids were from situations where t seems lie there was no one there to get creeped out. Not that any of this was in any way the parent's fault, they were targeted, I would guess, because they were vulnerable, in the same way that kids in the foster care system are.

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I know Heather. I agree that it is sick and twisted. But what do you do? Our kids have to be protected. I feel really bad for the good men in the world. They have to be so careful.

:iagree:

I've seen this with Wolf. He takes the kids to the park, etc...and it never fails to upset him when Moms there react like he's lurking in the bushes, trying to lure their kids away with promises of candy and a puppy, just b/c he's at the park, and male. With his own children. :glare:

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I've found it interesting that several others in the charity and other Grad students at Penn State felt odd around Sandusky - though he never crossed a line with them.

 

Also one of the victims Mom's said Sandusky told her HE wanted to discipline her son and that set off one of her warning bells. All the cell phone calls, the visits, etc. I think that's the degree of interest that sets off alarm bells.

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Often in literature teachers take an interest in a student and introduce him or her to new things (good things, not what we're talking about here). Like the teacher in The Bridge to Terabithia, who took the boy into D.C. to look at museums (I think). Or I Am Charlotte Simmons (which I'm reading now) in which Charlotte's high school teacher travelled out of town with her to receive a national award, presumably because Charlotte's parents were too poor to go. Those were good, caring teachers who had only pure motives. It's sad to think teachers are afraid to do these kinds of things now because of the fear of being called a predator.

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I just have to put my .02 in here. I noticed most of the posts here mention not leaving your young child alone with older MEN. There are women pedophiles too, don't kid yoursleves. It kind of irks me when people assume that a man who talks to a child or works with children must be a pedophile or there is something "wrong" with him.

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I just have to put my .02 in here. I noticed most of the posts here mention not leaving your young child alone with older MEN. There are women pedophiles too, don't kid yoursleves. It kind of irks me when people assume that a man who talks to a child or works with children must be a pedophile or there is something "wrong" with him.

 

I understand where you are coming from. But, the fact is that sex offenders are almost always male. There are women pedophiles but the percentages are just tiny in comparison to men.

 

That's just the facts. I don't like it, but it's true.

 

I worked in the criminal justice field and never met a female offender, although I know that they exist. Men are the ones that are most likely to do this.

 

People don't want to talk about another factor. Children are very often victimized by their own parents, uncles and siblings. We can protect them from people outside of the family but it is much harder when it's inside the family.

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Well, what I have done is try to teach my kids that while there are some bad people in the world, overwhelmingly, most are good, helpful people, including the people you haven't met yet. I refuse to view every guy as a potential predator. I encourage them to talk to strangers, make eye contact, start a conversation. I don't really worry about strangers at all. .

 

I agree! I tell ds the same thing....that strangers aren't the real concern. My ds is very social. He can and does talk to anyone. But I don't leave him alone with men that I do not trust 100%....as mentioned earlier that number is about 3.

 

In the Penn State thing, the kids were from situations where t seems lie there was no one there to get creeped out. Not that any of this was in any way the parent's fault, they were targeted, I would guess, because they were vulnerable, in the same way that kids in the foster care system are.

 

Yes, and this is the part that makes me ill....that he targeted vulernable kids.

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I know all parents want to protect their kids, but I think that whoever this social worker is, they are just dead wrong. I am often interested in other kids besides my own, and so is dh. It absolutely IS normal that some adults are interested in the welfare of children besides those who are blood related. I find it disgusting that anyone would caracterize "interest in a child" as "a huge red flag." No wonder no one will volunteer for scouts, 4h, Sunday school teachers, etc...

 

So as a social worker she is either stating that:

A: She isn't interested in her clients.

B: She IS interested in her child clients and therefore "not normal".

 

The lack of logic astounds me.

 

 

I agree 100%! Fallacy, fallacy, fallacy.

 

Dh is a 4-H science club leader. So, I guess the whole organization is bad since the adult volunteers are obviously "interested" in kids.

 

That said, we don't do overnights with anyone except my brother, my parents, dh's mother, and one set of friends - the husband in that couple was once a police officer and part of a task force to catch creeps. He is VERY protective of his four children and given the level of security he brings to any activity he supervises, I feel confident that the boys are safe there. We are the ONLY people his children have ever had an overnight with.

 

Faith

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Ugh. I feel so bad for those Sandusky victims. I am so disgusted by the entire grooming process and Sandusky targeting vulnerable kids from at risk homes.

 

I have been very very cautious with my ds....he is 11 1/2 now and a few times in recent months I've felt slightly over protective....after this I don't!

 

So I got to wondering about others....have any of you allowed your young child 8-12 years old to spend that kind of time with any man (besides their father)? If so are you rethinking it? Or did you already have precautions in place?

 

And have you ever noticed a man behaving like Sandusky and your 'creep meter' went off with no real proof? I just wonder how many people thought he was 'off' and just didn't have any proof.

 

Have I allowed my kids to spend time alone with any man beside their father.

 

No. Absolutely not. I have personally known too many victims of pedophiles, and my research into this subject in the past has also rendered me permanently paranoid.

 

This is to protect both parties and keep me from worrying about my friends.

 

Yes, my creep-o-meter has been known to go off. Yes, I pay attention to it.

 

In one case, someone I knew set off my creepometer and I learned later that the creep in question (husband of a friend) did actually molest his 3yo daughter on multiple occasions. The friend second guessed both what her daughter said (which was both specific and graphic) and what she saw (what my friend, the mother, saw--actually, really SAW WITH HER OWN EYES). Ultimately even though this friend left her husband, she continued sleeping with this man and allowed him unfettered access to their daughter. DCFS declined involvement because of the young age of the child and the lack of physical involvement. They considered the mother "protective" despite the unfettered access and continued s@xual relationship. There was literally nothing I could do to protect this child, and it haunts me still.

 

Another time I discovered a man at the ice rink chatting up my ds. I cannot ice skate due to bad knees so I hang out at a table where I can see the rink and get some work done. Ds was puzzled as to why I was upset about "stranger danger" because ds thought he would get in trouble if HE (ds) approached a stranger, but that since the nice man approached him it must be okay. :eek: (Yes, we had a talk about that!!) The nice man hastened to assure me that my ds wasn't bothering him at all (!!!) and he would love to continue chatting with ds. :eek: Both the nice man and ds were quite clear on appropriate boundaries when I was finished talking to them--that man was a STRANGER who I did not know and ds would not be continuing in conversation with him!!!!! Yes, my creep-o-meter was screaming on that one.

 

There was another occasion at a church long ago wherein a man who was the husband of a nursery volunteer would come down to the nursery during the sermon. If a child was fussy, or if a child was unbelievably adorable, this man thought it was fine to take that child from the nursery either to walk the halls to calm the child OR to take the child with while he chatted with friends in the hall. I pitched a fit and actually had to argue with church leadership about how unbelievably inappropriate it was for this large man to take a child not his own alone down the halls.

 

I could go on. The bottom line is that I have never, ever regretted being protective. I have known too many victims, and I spent too many years working in the inner city, to question my instincts on this.

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They pick kids where the parents are either a)unavailable due to work b) uninterested, c) totally absent or d) star struck.

 

 

I told my ds that these predators are like the wolves that circle a herd and pick out the youngest or the weakest. Makes me sick.

 

 

The bolded is not always true. My parents were none of those things but it still happened. My parents even knew something wasn't quite right with me a while after and took me to a therapist. I still didn't tell. Sometimes the parents are doing everything they think is right and something bad still happens. The person who hurt me was a trusted, loved member of my extended family and I wasn't actually ever alone with him.

Edited by Horton
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My "creep meter" was set off when I was 14. My parents were protective to a point but never warned me about things like this. I was working at a friend's diner as a dishwasher when an thirty something year old man became very, very interested in me. He flattered me, gave me tons of attention. He asked me what music I liked. When I told him, he said that he had a beautiful CD that he would like to send me. He asked for my address and my phone number. He was a very well dressed, handsome man. At 14 years old it was it was hard to understand that there was something wrong with that picture but something told me something was wrong. I disappeared to "go find a pen and paper" but I mentioned it to an older waitress. She told me to stay in the back while she went out front and chewed out the man. I never saw him again.

 

It really makes me sick now when I think about it. I was so naive, stupid really, about stuff like that. Without going into detail I've tried to warn my oldest girl about strangers taking too much interest. I will definitely be more specific as she gets older. All I gotta say, is praise God He was watching out for me that day.

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The main point of the article was to pay attention to adults that pay attention to your child. No. That doesn't mean that every 4-H leader or Boy Scout leader is suspect. But there are bad ones out there, so be vigilant. She did talk about 'normal' involvement/interest and 'over-the-line,' like having the child spend the night. Honestly, why didn't that raise red flags?

 

My son is very outgoing and I do encourage him to talk to strangers. But does that mean I would let him spend the night at his golf instructor's home? No way!

 

I guess the whole organization is bad since the adult volunteers are obviously "interested" in kids.

 

Most people that get involved in children's organization have children in the organization, therefore they have a purpose/reason to be involved. Even if they don't have children in the organization, there is a difference between being a mentor and a creep. If someone wants to take your child out for ice cream and have them spend the night? Shouldn't that raise flags? That is what I don't understand - and that was the main point of her article. Many of the ways this guy sought to be around children were not normal adult-child relations. Do we, as a society, really think it is normal/okay for a 60-year-old coach (or pop star) to have a sleepover?
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I won't let my kids be alone with my bil because I just get a vibe from him. It's hard to explain. He's never been accused of anything, but I just don't feel comfortable leaving my kids alone with him, even if my sil is there. I don't care how many people in the family I pi$$ off, I just won't go there.

 

I refuse to allow my children to be alone with any man I haven't known for years. Even then, it is hard to let go. Once something terrible is done to a child, it can never be undone. I don't give one flying rat's arse if people think I'm crazy/over-protective/suspicious. It is my job to protect my children and I will make darn sure I do the very best job I possibly can. My perve-o-meter has appropriately gone off so many times I have learned to just trust my instincts.

 

I would rather be psycho-crazy-overprotective and wrong than be trusting and allow some terrible thing to happen.

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I would agree, but you have to define degree.

 

For example, making a point to speak to a kid each week when you see them... Is that over the top?

 

What about inviting them over to hang out with your kids?

 

What about offering to take them out for ice cream?

 

 

 

There is one guy I know (dad of my kid's friend) who creeps me out a bit, and I don't let my kids just go hang out at this man's house, Another dad might suggest the same type of activity and I would be fine with that. I just don't like this generalization that EVERY MAN should be viewed through the lens of "potential predator".

 

It really just makes me sad. Our boys, who we are trying to protect with this suspicion, will grow up and be viewed by the same lens. Our daughters-in-law may just decide that their FIL is "too interested" in the grandkids. Or my son's future wife may decide that her dh's brother is just not normal for wanting to take his nieces and nephews out for ice cream.

 

Thank you for your posts. I agree.

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Yeah, I've embarrassed my ds more than once by opening the men's bathroom door and hollering his name. :tongue_smilie:

 

Once I sent another man in to check on him....man came back and reported 'feet' under one stall and no one else in the restroom. LOL So I patiently waited for my ds to finish his business.

 

 

My ds is 8. I will still drag the poor boy into the women's bathroom with me. Sometimes, in my small town of 3500 people, I allow him to go into the men's room alone, but I totally shout his name if he takes more than a minute. No shame here.

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Ugh. I feel so bad for those Sandusky victims. I am so disgusted by the entire grooming process and Sandusky targeting vulnerable kids from at risk homes.

 

I have been very very cautious with my ds....he is 11 1/2 now and a few times in recent months I've felt slightly over protective....after this I don't!

 

So I got to wondering about others....have any of you allowed your young child 8-12 years old to spend that kind of time with any man (besides their father)? If so are you rethinking it? Or did you already have precautions in place?

 

This is why I'm so leary of sleepovers. You just never know.

 

And have you ever noticed a man behaving like Sandusky and your 'creep meter' went off with no real proof? I just wonder how many people thought he was 'off' and just didn't have any proof.

 

 

 

We once had a neighbor that set off my "creep meter". Turns out out that he molested his 9 yr. old stepdaughter. I just found out that more charges have been brought against him. He's awaiting trial.

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The bolded is not always true. My parents were none of those things but it still happened. My parents even knew something wasn't quite right with me a while after and took me to a therapist. I still didn't tell. Sometimes the parents are doing everything they think is right and something bad still happens. The person who hurt me was a trusted, loved member of my extended family and I wasn't actually ever alone with him.

 

(((FLMOM))) I am sorry. I did not intend to imply that those were the ONLY situations where kids were molested. Certainly not.

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Protecting the Gift is a must read. The no talking to strangers advice puts children in a vulnerable position and does more disservice than help.

 

DS doesn't spend time 1:1 with any other male than DH, but a man talking to him in public place, where I was nearby, wouldn't concern me at all. I'd let DS handle the interaction. I'd only step in, if something inapprorpriate was happening. But just talking? Talking is normal. Men and women talk. Even to children. It disturbs me that an adult can't talk to a child in an ice rink without being considered a child molester.

 

On the other hand, I would never insist on DS saying hello to a stranger, or answer a stranger's questions if DS didn't feel like it, even if this might not be considered polite. I want my children to learn what makes them uncomfortable, and what isn't a concern. This will make them safer, not a "no talking to strangers" rule.

 

Between the ages of 10 and 12 I was mentored by a man who had a wife and two daughters. There was nothing creepy about that relationship. He was my coach, I enjoyed spending time with him, and GASP he took me for ice cream. I truly believe he enjoyed my company, and I enjoyed his.

 

In the same way as I see my DS's swimming teacher enjoying his company. She's as young woman, they have the same sense of humor. They've never been alone, but I see that they click. In a very normal, human way. Nothing creepy about it.

 

On the other hand, when I was 8 years old, my mother's gay friend made me uncomfortable. I didn't know he was gay at that time. He didn't do anything specific that I can recall, but I never felt comfortable in his presence.

 

We need to listen to our children, and give them opportunities to experience various interactions when parents are nearby.

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My intuition has been right enough times that if someone, male or female, sets it off I listen to it. I had a very bad feeling about 2 of my friend's husbands and it turned out they were molesting their children. :( I get a bad feeling from DH's older brother so the kids and I do not see him. Like another poster said it causes issues in the family. But my job is to protect my children no matter that other family members overlook alcohol problems and domestic violence convictions.

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The "creep-o-meter" comments really interest me. When I was a child and later a teenager, we'd go every summer with my grandparents to a cabin at the lake for a few weeks. It was a big family thing and we had tons of cousins, aunts, uncles, extended family. I bet there were thirty of us. My sisters and a cousin were all about the same age and we called one older cousin "Molester Mike". We were all naive kids who didn't really know about things like that but we knew something about that guy gave us the creeps and we were never alone with him. Then when I was nineteen my grandmother told me we wouldn't be going to the lake that summer because Mike's father molested a boy cousin of mine the summer before. It's such a sad deal. I wonder about that whole family now. We don't see them anymore but from what I know his wife stayed with them and they still babysit for Mike's kids every Sunday. Gag.

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Ugh. I feel so bad for those Sandusky victims. I am so disgusted by the entire grooming process and Sandusky targeting vulnerable kids from at risk homes.

 

I have been very very cautious with my ds....he is 11 1/2 now and a few times in recent months I've felt slightly over protective....after this I don't!

 

So I got to wondering about others....have any of you allowed your young child 8-12 years old to spend that kind of time with any man (besides their father)? If so are you rethinking it? Or did you already have precautions in place?

 

And have you ever noticed a man behaving like Sandusky and your 'creep meter' went off with no real proof? I just wonder how many people thought he was 'off' and just didn't have any proof.

 

 

I understand exactly how you feel. My ds just turned 12 and I've still not let him go unescorted with other adults. I volunteer with 4-H and swimming so that I am there for his safety's sake. I do also enjoy the volunteering, so it's not 100% about the safety issue, but that is probably the main part of it.

 

Predators seek out positions where they can manipulate their victims. Scouts, sports teams, charities, churches, youth organizations -- these are all places rife with opportunities for predators because adults feel that those are "trustworthy" organizations and tend to drop their guards.

 

I never drop my guard. Never.

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Um no, we never had a problem because WHO in their RIGHT MIND would drop a ten-year-old child off for "special coaching" from a man they hardly knew? Or even if they knew him???? DUH!
That is exactly what I don't get.

My child is involved in a lot of activities - chess camp, art classes, tennis, golf, science classes, music lessons.

I am amazed at how many parents "drop and run." My child has taken music at a studio for well over two years and there are some parents I have never seen because they drop the child off in the parking lot, then the parent walks out alone. Same with the other activities. I guess the homeschool mom in me wants to talk with the teacher, know what they did in lessons, see how my child did in class, look around and get a feel for the class.

 

Predators seek out positions where they can manipulate their victims. Scouts, sports teams, charities, churches, youth organizations -- these are all places rife with opportunities for predators because adults feel that those are "trustworthy" organizations and tend to drop their guards.

 

I never drop my guard. Never.

Exactly.

And I think, sadly, predators know to look for children with parents that are not as involved.

 

We have a chiropractor under investigation right now for m*lesting young female clients. All were from a dance studio near the chiropractor's office and were being seen for pulled groin muscles. Chiropractor says he had to put his hands there because of the location of the injury - and that parents are always welcome in the exam room. Children said his hands went too far. My first thought, "And why wasn't a parent in there?" Sorry - but (to me) common sense dictates that the doctor would need to put his hands in sensitive areas to treat a groin injury therefore I would be in that room.

And on things like that, I actually see both sides. As a male doctor, I wouldn't want to be alone while treating a female groin injury w/o a nurse or parent in the room. It just leaves you open for morality questions... As a female patient, I wouldn't want to be in the room alone. As a parent, I would demand to be in the room or go to another practice.

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Protecting the Gift is a must read. The no talking to strangers advice puts children in a vulnerable position and does more disservice than help.

 

DS doesn't spend time 1:1 with any other male than DH, but a man talking to him in public place, where I was nearby, wouldn't concern me at all. I'd let DS handle the interaction. I'd only step in, if something inapprorpriate was happening. But just talking? Talking is normal. Men and women talk. Even to children. It disturbs me that an adult can't talk to a child in an ice rink without being considered a child molester.

 

On the other hand, I would never insist on DS saying hello to a stranger, or answer a stranger's questions if DS didn't feel like it, even if this might not be considered polite. I want my children to learn what makes them uncomfortable, and what isn't a concern. This will make them safer, not a "no talking to strangers" rule.

 

Between the ages of 10 and 12 I was mentored by a man who had a wife and two daughters. There was nothing creepy about that relationship. He was my coach, I enjoyed spending time with him, and GASP he took me for ice cream. I truly believe he enjoyed my company, and I enjoyed his.

 

In the same way as I see my DS's swimming teacher enjoying his company. She's as young woman, they have the same sense of humor. They've never been alone, but I see that they click. In a very normal, human way. Nothing creepy about it.

 

On the other hand, when I was 8 years old, my mother's gay friend made me uncomfortable. I didn't know he was gay at that time. He didn't do anything specific that I can recall, but I never felt comfortable in his presence.

 

We need to listen to our children, and give them opportunities to experience various interactions when parents are nearby.

 

I wrote the post about the guy in the ice rink. I did say in my post that my creep-o-meter was screaming in that encounter. In other words, this man felt "off" to me.

 

When I saw that ds was skating with this man and chatting, I casually wandered from my table to the rink. With the way the rink is set up, I can easily see into the rink, but those in the rink would not be able to see me as easily because of netting and the hockey shields and so forth. I expected ds to skate away from the man as ds is quite athletic and would normally be speed skating or attempting tricks. Ds and the man continued talking for long enough that it seemed odd to me. I quietly motioned ds to come to the side to talk to me, at which point he separated from the man and came over to the side. At first our conversation was casual--I asked ds who the man was, had we seen him somewhere else before (co-op or 4-H, etc.). Ds told me he had never seen the man before and that he "keeps talking to me."

 

At some point the man skated up to the side and introduced himself to me. He poured out effusive compliments of what an incredible kid ds is and how he had enjoyed his company. I said little more than, "hi" as he gushed about my ds and then assured me, multiple times, that ds was not bothering him and that he would so enjoy continuing to talk with ds.

 

As far as I was concerned, we were not there to socialize with strange men; we were there for ds to exercise. AND my instincts were screaming from the moment the man started to gush compliments about my son. I had walked into the rink out of a more general concern, and my concern about the situation escalated to full red alert because the man himself felt "off."

 

That is the point at which I made it clear that ds does not socialize with strange men.

 

I do not view every man as a potential predator. However, I do not leave my children alone with people that I do not know well, AND when my instincts are screaming I listen to them. The former rule is a simple enough fail safe just in case my instincts are not as sharp as they should be.

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My husband is an elementary school teacher. Years ago, prior to our own kids, we got a set of 8 free tickets to the circus. He used it as a prize in his classroom and we took 6 girls (both of us + the 6 kids) out for pizza and to the circus.

 

We also took kids out to dinner OFTEN. I was at the school all the time subbing, so the kids and families knew me.

 

I shudder to think people could have suspected we were up to something. We were in a time of our lives where we had more time to give to kids and wanted to do that... now we're not in that season of life and can't do it, but it was definitely something we did out of kindness, not creepy motivations...

 

We also did a scavenger hunt with some of his students for his birthday- some of the kids had clues at their house and he had to go get the clue... the kids planned it with me and it was super fun!

 

Of course, he also would stop by each house in person the day after report cards went out just to see if parents had concerns about their kids...

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They pick kids where the parents are either a)unavailable due to work b) uninterested, c) totally absent or d) star struck.

 

 

I told my ds that these predators are like the wolves that circle a herd and pick out the youngest or the weakest. Makes me sick.

We had something like this happen when I was a kid/teen. It all came out in highschool. The man was a church deacon and a decorated military officer. The kind of person you would never think it of. He was "dad" to a lot of boys. He zeroed in on the those exact kids...the ones without a dad around, a dad that was too busy, and kids whose parents didn't care. My husband had had a feeling what was going on and tried to tell his mother (his brother and several friends were victims)...nope, none of the adults believed it. It came out, there was a huge trial, the man went to prison, got out, and still collected his full pension :glare:

 

I don't trust a whole lot of people.

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When kids are little, supervision is probably the most important factor.

 

As they get older, they have to also learn to think protectively themselves.

 

I could decide to never let my teens be alone with a man, but that seems like it would detract a lot of value from their lives. Obviously I still use wisdom and judgement, but I also want my boys to be courageous, to experience new things, to form relationships that matter.

 

So at this age (13), while I do still keep an eye on things, I also talk to them about predators and help them to be wary themselves.

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My husband is an elementary school teacher. Years ago, prior to our own kids, we got a set of 8 free tickets to the circus. He used it as a prize in his classroom and we took 6 girls (both of us + the 6 kids) out for pizza and to the circus.

 

We also took kids out to dinner OFTEN. I was at the school all the time subbing, so the kids and families knew me.

 

I shudder to think people could have suspected we were up to something. We were in a time of our lives where we had more time to give to kids and wanted to do that... now we're not in that season of life and can't do it, but it was definitely something we did out of kindness, not creepy motivations...

 

We also did a scavenger hunt with some of his students for his birthday- some of the kids had clues at their house and he had to go get the clue... the kids planned it with me and it was super fun!

 

Of course, he also would stop by each house in person the day after report cards went out just to see if parents had concerns about their kids...

 

My mom was a 5th grade teacher in a small, very poor, rural school. She usually had about 10-12 kids and often (4 times a year maybe) would let all of the girls spend the night with her. One time, a girl told my mom that she couldn't come. Mom said ok. The girl was very disappointed though and shared the reason with mom even though not asked. The girl says, 'do you have a boy friend?' Mom, thinking that the girl's parents were concerned about a strange man being in the house with their dd said, 'no. Just me at my house.' The girl's face fell and she said, 'oh. That is why I can't come.' My mom is :confused: and the girl whispers, 'my dad thinks you are a lesbian.'

 

:001_huh:

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He zeroed in on the those exact kids...the ones without a dad around, a dad that was too busy, and kids whose parents didn't care.

 

See, but those are the kids my husband picks to mentor- because they NEED a male role model! He doesn't do sleepovers or anything, but some of those kids just need a man in their lives to be present!

 

But how can a man be a positive influence on growing boys without being accused of something?

 

I am not defending molesters- far from it, but it is hard for a man to be involved with children without it looking suspicious from what people are saying in this thread.

 

I think Sandusky was a creep... completely. I'm only referring to innocent men here.

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See, but those are the kids my husband picks to mentor- because they NEED a male role model! He doesn't do sleepovers or anything, but some of those kids just need a man in their lives to be present!

 

But how can a man be a positive influence on growing boys without being accused of something?

 

I am not defending molesters- far from it, but it is hard for a man to be involved with children without it looking suspicious from what people are saying in this thread.

 

I think Sandusky was a creep... completely. I'm only referring to innocent men here.

 

I know. This guy had a free hand though...took them camping (in groups even!), sleepovers, etc. He even had a wife and kids.

Edited by mommaduck
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See, but those are the kids my husband picks to mentor- because they NEED a male role model! He doesn't do sleepovers or anything, but some of those kids just need a man in their lives to be present!

 

But how can a man be a positive influence on growing boys without being accused of something?

.

 

It is a real problem for sure. I think a man in your dh's situation has to be VERY careful to avoid the appearance of any thing improper. Groups of boys or you along...I would never be alone with one boy if I were him.

 

It isn't fair. And it is sad. But it is the reality of what we are dealing with.

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See, but those are the kids my husband picks to mentor- because they NEED a male role model! He doesn't do sleepovers or anything, but some of those kids just need a man in their lives to be present!

 

But how can a man be a positive influence on growing boys without being accused of something?

 

I am not defending molesters- far from it, but it is hard for a man to be involved with children without it looking suspicious from what people are saying in this thread.

 

I think Sandusky was a creep... completely. I'm only referring to innocent men here.

 

It's such a hard thing. I have worked with many foster kids and with a lot of inner-city kids who need people to love them. I understand the difficulty of wanting to love and to help parent a child through their hardships, yet being constrained.

 

When I have done training for church volunteers there are a couple basic principles I teach:

 

--Try to always have two leaders present.

--If not two leaders, then get together with more than one kid at a time.

--Try to meet kids in public places.

--Limit physical contact.

 

Bottom line is to be intentional with making sure there are witnesses. This protects both the adult (from false accusation) and the child (from abuse).

 

It's an unfortunate reality in our world. There ARE predators, far more than people realize. There are SO MANY who have been hurt in some way.

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See, but those are the kids my husband picks to mentor- because they NEED a male role model! He doesn't do sleepovers or anything, but some of those kids just need a man in their lives to be present!

 

But how can a man be a positive influence on growing boys without being accused of something?

 

I am not defending molesters- far from it, but it is hard for a man to be involved with children without it looking suspicious from what people are saying in this thread.

 

I think Sandusky was a creep... completely. I'm only referring to innocent men here.

 

 

I know it stinks. I'm sure those kids really appreciate what your dh does for them. And it really isn't fair that people may talk behind their hands because your dh just really likes kids and wants to make a difference in their lives. It's not fair that creeps like Sandusky ruin it for all the good guys out there.

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Yeah, he doesn't touch students ever. Like no hand on the shoulder, no pat on the back, nothing. You just can't risk that stuff.

 

And he is very careful about not being alone with students. He even props his classroom door when another teacher or a parent comes in his room after school hours, just to be careful.

 

But it is sad that it is like this.

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This may be a little OT, but how do you decide to trust people enough to let any of your dc spend the night at a friend's house? My kids have only had 1 sleepover and generally it doesn't come up, but I'm just wondering. One of my first reactions to the story was kind of disbelief that they would allow this boy to sleep over at the coach's house. I can understand naviete, but it is a bit harder in 2011 (2006 when I think this happened.) At any rate, I would certainly be suspicious of a coach wanting my son to spend the night, but even still concerned if it were just at a friend's house.

 

Coincidentally, my ds' baseball coach's son is my son's friend and the coach casually mentioned sleepovers to me. This would be a tough one for me, because it is based on ds' friendship. Still, I don't really think sleepovers are necessary anyway.

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See, but those are the kids my husband picks to mentor- because they NEED a male role model! He doesn't do sleepovers or anything, but some of those kids just need a man in their lives to be present!

 

But how can a man be a positive influence on growing boys without being accused of something?

 

I am not defending molesters- far from it, but it is hard for a man to be involved with children without it looking suspicious from what people are saying in this thread.

 

I think Sandusky was a creep... completely. I'm only referring to innocent men here.

:iagree: These are the children that the Boys and Girls Club target as well as many/most child centered programs. Big Brothers/Big Sisters, even church youth groups, hope to help the types of children that make such good victims, with the idea of keeping them from becoming victims. All the same, when people give their time to these organizations they run the risk of being seen as 'creepy' especially if they're men. From what I've seen there are less and less men becoming involved and part of it is just that reason. The Boy Scout leader who doesn't have a scout seems wierd, why are they hanging out with kids whose own parents don't want to be them?!?!? It's really sad, those catch twenty-twos.

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