Monday, April 03, 2006

What To Watch Out For When Adults Are With Children

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Have you ever seen someone playing with a child and felt uncomfortable with it? Maybe you thought, "I'm just over-reacting," or, "He/She doesn't really mean that." Don't ignore the behavior; learn how to ask more questions about what you have seen. The checklist below offers some warning signs.

Do you know an adult or older child who:

  • Refuses to let a child set any of his or her own limits?
  • Insists on hugging, touching, kissing, tickling, wrestling with or holding a child even when the child does not want this affection?
  • Is overly interested in the sexuality of a particular child or teen (e.g., talks repeatedly about the child's developing body or interferes with normal teen dating)?
  • Manages to get time alone or insists on time alone with a child with no interruptions?
  • Spends most of his/her spare time with children and has little interest in spending time with someone their own age?
  • Regularly offers to babysit many different children for free or takes children on overnight outings alone?
  • Buys children expensive gifts or gives them money for no apparent reason?
  • Frequently walks in on children/teens in the bathroom?
  • Allows children or teens to consistently get away with inappropriate behaviors?

If you answered "yes" to some of these questions, talk to that person. If you are uncomfortable, but don't see these signs, be sure to trust your instincts and ask questions. You can also call your local rape crisis line for more information.


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