A strong secure attachment relationship with our children is a huge part of protecting our kids from predators. Because most predators look for dis-empowered and disconnected kids.
BUT that alone is not enough esp for younger children who can be easily manipulated.
These five things can help your children repel potential abusers.
1. Teach them anatomically correct names for their genitalia (kids who share about abuse with correct names have stronger chances of successful prosecution in court). And it makes sharing less shameful and normalizes talking about their bodies.
2. Teach them body ownership and how to say no to any affection they don't want from an adult or child. (Sorry grandma, even you)
3. Teach them body safety rules so they know what is and is not appropriate for anyone else to see, touch, show, or photograph.
4. When they are ready (between ages 4-6) have a non scary conversation about a plan to self defend if someone tries to violate their body safety rules. Don't scare them, prepare them.
5. Teach them about grooming (and help them understand that whatever incentive is being used is never as big as how you will reward them for telling you) and about threats (that people who try to do this say scary things but those things are not true)
6. Tell them you will always believe them if they tell you someone did something that felt scary or weird and that they will never get in trouble for telling.