Online Grooming: Spotting the Red Flags

Sexual abuse of children is sadly common not just in the US but around the world. You might think that it won’t happen to your child, but in the digital age, all children are at risk. That’s why it’s best to track your kid’s phone. After all, most children are sexually abused by people they already know—people who probably call and text them, or message them online. 

‘Grooming’ is the strategy used by sexual predators on the kids they want to victimize. It essentially means drawing a child in by gaining their trust. Predators may even try to win the trust of a child’s parents or family, making it even easier for them to access their target.

How to look out for signs of grooming

A groomer can be anyone—a stranger or somebody your child or your family may already know, such as a relative, neighbor, or a close friend. They typically use manipulative behaviors to befriend the child and/or the family, with the goal of eventually distancing the child from their family and abusing them. Groomers tend to be tenacious; they exert a lot of effort to do whatever it takes to achieve their goals. Once they target a victim, they’ll follow through and they won’t give up.

The earlier you can spot the signs of grooming, the better your chances of saving your child. Here are some of the signs that something might be wrong:

  • The groomer is always trying to be useful to your family.
  • They want to be alone with the child.
  • They share secrets with the child and tell your child to keep those secrets.
  • They like to contact your child when you’re not present.
  • They are interested and invested in the romantic life of your child.
  • They buy gifts for the child.
  • They ignore your boundaries.
  • They touch your child in inappropriate ways (e.g., tickling games and massages).

Groomers also consistently prefer the company of kids. Their home is filled with toys for children.

If you start feeling suspicious about someone, it may be best to use a phone tracker app to see how they communicate with your child. You can potentially catch them in the act and take immediate action against them and protect your child.

Child abuse by the numbers

In 2019, there were 656,243 cases of child abuse reported in the US. The rate is highest among American Indian kids & Alaska Native children, with 15.2 cases per 1,000 victims. Most of the kids abused are 2-5 years old, and the perpetrator is often a close relative of the victim, including the parents.

How groomers work

How groomers work

It can be challenging for parents to identify a predator until it’s too late. That’s because abusers apply classic child grooming techniques that they have been mastering and doing for years. Specialists identified six stages of grooming that can be summarized as:

  1. Targeting the victim.
  2. Gaining the trust of the victim.
  3. Providing the needs of the child.
  4. Isolating the child.
  5. Initiating sexual connotations in their relationship with the child.
  6. Controlling the child.

Preventing child grooming

Preventing child grooming

Your child will meet many different adults in their lifetime, including coaches, teachers, neighbors, and anyone who will be part of their development as they grow into adults. Knowing the signs of grooming and paying attention are the keys to protecting your kid from harm.

It’s also important to establish a trusting relationship between yourself and your child. You want them to be confident and open to sharing with you what goes on in their life.

Monitoring your child’s interactions with adults is very important, too. Track kid’s phone using Easy Logger. It’s a phone tracker app that lets you monitor your child’s texts and calls, social media use, and location, so you’ll know immediately if something is wrong.

Conclusion

Your child may not know that they are dealing with a predator. To them, a pedophile may look like a nice person or a friend. It’s up to you to identify a groomer and protect your child from one. Be sure to use a phone tracker app like Easy Logger.