To date, many parents are unaware of what online grooming means. With growing crime rates with children as victims, it is high time everyone out there aware should be aware of this. Let us know what online grooming is and how it is a threat to your children.
What is Online Grooming?
Online grooming is the act of establishing a relationship with a child to cause harm to them and exploit them. This exploitation of children can be in many ways. Some could be sexual abuse to children either online or otherwise. Also, they manipulate the children into child pornography without the kid’s knowledge.
How does this happen?
Online grooming can happen through almost any kind of online resource where your child’s presence is there. It could be anywhere online like, social media, live streaming platforms, online games they play, and certain chatrooms. These are some of the online modalities that such abusive people make use of, to abuse children.
Signs of Online Grooming:
The following are some of the odd activities that are to be noticed in your children to check if they are being online groomed:
- The child will be observed to be using the internet too much lately
- Not disclosing what they are doing online / deleting the search history
- Owning some items which clearly you haven’t bought for them
- Turing the screen away so that you wouldn’t see it
- Behaving odd like they are grown-ups all of a sudden
These could be the most prominent signs that your child might be online groomed by someone. The worst part is that your kid might be unaware and allowing them to do so.
What does online groomer do?
The following are a few activities or strategies that the online predator or groomer starts to gradually build a relationship with a child.
- Request your child for a favor to gain some pity
- Make your child feel so special
- Ask for their photos and videos in a friendly way initially
- Ask for the phone number to call them
- Give them gifts and money
- Finally, they make a threat with the resources they gained from the child.
What you can do?
To prevent online grooming to happen to your kids or if you find such thing happening already, follow the below-given guidelines to safeguard your kids from falling into the predator’s trap.
- Assure your kids that you’re there for them no matter what
- Never blame your kids in such a situation as it may affect them very deeply
- Make them understand the cruciality of the situation such that they wouldn’t do it/repeat it.
- Help them block the online groomer in every platform
- Apply parental controls over every device they are using
- Finally, if you find anything abusive or illegal going on, report that person immediately to the police.
In conclusion, as a parent, it is your responsibility to make your child understand the threats that are there online and take necessary precautionary steps. Always pay undivided attention to all your child’s activities. After all, it is your child to protect from the world. Happy Parenting!