How to be an 8G Mom: Building a Mom Community that Protects Kids from Sexual Abuse
- Great Listener
Put God First. Pray for his guidance and love. Trust but Verify.
Gather information. Gather your family. Set a reminder on the 8th of every month on your calendar. Review the new activities, new people who are in your children's lives. Meet with your spouse and prepare a plan for safety.
Moms are the procedural safeguards. Guard your kids. When an adult claims your child is the next best singer, athlete, mathematician, pianist, whatever, give pause. Check your pride and yourself. What does this mean for my family and our priorities? Make a plan for safety in any one-on-one situations. Guard your screens. Predators can get into your home through a screen. Check the screens in at night, even for your oldest teens. Review what the kids are doing online. Guard new and old friendships. Never let adult peer pressure make you do something or allow your kids to do something that your family rules restrict. Never become so co-mingled with another family or group of adults that your guard is down.
Give your children the proper names for their private areas. No one may touch their bathing suit areas nor may someone ask the child to touch their private areas. Adults never ask kids for help finding a lost pet or give away free ipads. Give the kids the quick answer, NO! And, then let the children know they are never in trouble and no one can ever threaten to hurt their family or embarrass their family. It is always the right thing to do to tell your Mom and Dad. And it's never too late to tell. Give your children your undivided attention (moms, put the phone away).
Don't be a victim of grooming. Usually, predators groom parents and an entire community before they victimize a child. Watch for the symptoms. Most adults are average people - don't make them out to be something or someone so extraordinary that your children get confused.
A good book to read about this is: Pure in Heart by Jenna Quinn (Jenna's Law)
Find your Mom Group. Rely on them to communicate to you any rumors they hear or any "weird" gut feelings they have. These gut feelings are often leading us in a direction that provides answers. In every activity your child participates, have a Mom group. Get to know the moms and be in community! Women were made for community, not competition.
Research and do background checks, social media reviews, and online searches about the adults in your kids' lives. Keep doing it - every 8th of the month. You are the Guard. Make unannounced visits and check in on what your kids are doing in person and online.
8. Great Listener
Be a great listener. Be attentive. Don't judge. Make sure your kids know they can come to you with anything for their entire lives. You were given this amazing job to help your children get to Heaven - You've got this, Mamas!