Ok, here is the post you all have been waiting for. . . from the perspective of a pedophile’s son, and as one who educates others on a professional level, what are some of the boundaries for my own child? I must preface this post by acknowledging that simply coming up with boundaries will not protect your child. Rules are meant to be followed, manipulated, then broken–in that order–by people seeking access to your child. It is essential to learn how a pedophile typically thinks (not pleasant, I know) in order to understand just how important it is to enforce and adapt your boundaries. As a general rule of thumb, pedophiles will take the path of least resistance. Offer little resistance, and you increase your child’s vulnerability tenfold.
The following boundaries are not exhaustive. In fact, I only list my top 5 here. My wife and I are constantly adding, removing, and adapting boundaries based on our daughter’s age and surroundings, and you are encouraged to do the same. Also, you should be aware that pedophiles are extremely adaptive to technology and environment, and they are generally very patient if it means they can gain access to a child’s body. It may take up to a year or more for them to groom a child and his or her parents in order to have one sexual encounter. Many Christians I know have adopted a “give the benefit of the doubt” mentality to most people and they legitimately feel that it is unfair to assume that someone could be a pedophile. I strongly argue the exact opposite. It is unfair to your child to assume that someone couldn’t be a pedophile.
John the Baptist, as he was baptizing people, said, “Bear fruit in keeping with repentance” (Matthew 3:8, ESV). In other words, prove that you have changed, don’t just say it. Paul, in giving a defense before Roman authorities, tells King Agrippa that he preached the Gospel to Jews and Gentiles, “that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds in keeping with their repentance” (Acts 26:20, ESV).
In other words, Paul didn’t give them the benefit of the doubt. Paul wasn’t so naïve as to think that, just because people claimed that they loved God and were good people, it meant that they really were. He demanded, as John did, that they prove themselves through their actions. Jesus, as he sent the 12 out to preach, warned, “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves” (Matthew 10:16). In other words, don’t be naïve and think we live in a safe world where all people should be trusted. Remain innocent, but don’t be fooled. So with that in mind, I demand that people prove themselves when they question my boundaries. You want me to believe you are a good person? Don’t violate my boundaries and then we’ll talk!
Boundary #1–Deny Physical AccessThis is going to sound radical to many people, but we don’t want adults to be alone with our child unless we have a sitter who my wife and I both approve (we only have 2 sitters who we trust and have used; they are both women). Because the majority of molesters are men, we do not allow any men to be alone with our child. We do not apologize for this. It’s not that women can’t or don’t offend, but there are far less women than men who do. We are still vigilant with the women who watch our daughter on rare occasions. There are other physical boundaries–tickling, wrestling, holding, certain types of hugs, etc. are off limits. Period.
Boundary #2–Deny Picture/Video Access of Our Child to the Public
I see it too many times–the majority of my Facebook friends incessantly post “cute” pictures and videos of their kids for the world to see. Natalie and I rarely put any pictures or our child up. When we do, they are set so that only our friends can see them and our daughter is fully clothed. We have made a decision not to send any pictures of our daughter to dad, either, despite his repeated pleas for photos of “the grands.” July of 2011 is the last he has seen our daughter. Just last week dad wrote me saying that he doesn’t understand why we don’t send him pictures and he hopes we change our mind. I doubt we will. It is very sad, but when you remind yourself how someone takes something very innocent and manipulates it into something perverted for masturbatory fantasy, you will (hopefully) stick to this boundary as well. I’ve written on this before (see my Facebook: Playground for Pedophiles and How You Dress Your Child Matters). I assured dad that withholding pictures is not a punishment. His prison sentence is a severe punishment for his crimes. Rather, it is a protection for our daughter. There is a big difference between punishment and protection.
Pedophiles constantly rob public photos and videos of young children from Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Pintrest, Flickr, etc., fill their hard drives with them, and share them with each other. The following is a video that, most likely, some innocent mother originally posted of her waking up her young daughter. Someone grabbed it, reposted it with a different title, and it is a pedophile best hits video. If you don’t believe me, look at the comments and the other videos that appear on the sidebar. Some of the comments are: “im actually a multi millioanire businessman who travels the world frequently, and i need a plaything as a stress relief, if anyone can get me into contact with this little princess i will wire you US$1,000, im desperate for some young blonde flesh” and “God dangit. What is it about a girl just waking up that’s such a turn on? And my god she’s gorgeous.” and “She is soooo Hot! I’d love to be under them sheets with her!”.
It’s hard to tell, but she is probably about 10-12 years old. It’s hard to believe that this video is such a turn on, but it has become grossly sexualized by those living in fantasy land. Think like a pedophile before you post pictures and videos of your child for the world to see (or as in this case, for over 107,500 to view).
Boundary #3–Don’t Be the Sole Helper With My Child In the Bathroom, But Don’t Leave Her Alone Either
This one is difficult to enforce, but since my wife works at the daycare where our daughter goes, we have a major upper hand. Children should not be allowed to go to the bathroom alone; they should take bathroom breaks in groups. Being alone makes them very vulnerable for a number of reasons. For one, they can get hurt, get locked in the bathroom, or mess themselves and nobody would know it. For another, any adult roaming daycare, school, or church halls could easily walk into a bathroom and sexually offend a kid and nobody would know it. An adult helping a child solo is a terrible idea, too. Believe it or not, one tactic for some pedophiles is to feed children laxatives so they poop their pants. Then the “super hero” comes in to change the child’s clothes and clean him or her up. There is a lot more than cleaning going on in this scenario.
So, either take your child to the bathroom yourself (if you are physically present, like at church) or insist that two adults assist your child with zero or minimal physical contact. This includes at school, too. I’ve spoken with elementary teachers who told me that there are private bathrooms attached to each classroom and they’ve seen other teachers go into the bathroom with just them and a child and then close the door. That would be my daughter’s last day of school if this happened to her. Be aware of your school’s policies and if bathroom accountability is not scripted into the policy, demand that it be or pull your child from school.
Boundary #4–Doctor’s Visits With My Child Include Me or My Wife Too
As far as I know, there is no standard policy where doctors must have an aide present with children. I have a brother who is a doctor, but I haven’t asked him what his policy is. But it doesn’t matter much. I know what my policy is. When I was in high school, I had to have a physical by a guest nurse who came to our school because I played basketball. The nurse was a she, she was young, and she was attractive. She commanded me to “drop my drawers” and so I did–with just her and me in a room. While nothing sexual happened, that was a horrible call on her part. I do not allow any doctor to shut him or herself in alone with my child for any reason whatsoever. This includes pediatric doctors, dentists, nurses, or anyone who can gain physical access to my child in any way. My wife or I will make ourselves available for all of her (and our soon to be boy’s) appointments. And we will be present in the room with the doctors and/or nurses.
Boundary #5–No Secrets With My Child
Another technique in the playbook of grooming children is to tell them something like, “You’re my special friend. I’ll let you have candy (or whatever the parents forbid), just don’t tell them. It will be our little secret.”
We all do it with our kids. We playfully tell them little silly secrets. I’ve caught myself being reeled into this child’s play with my daughter. “I have a secret. . . . Daddy loves you.” But then I catch myself. If I love my daughter, why turn it into a game whereby I program her to normalize something that is crucial for predators to operate and offend? Why not just tell her, “I love you”? I have to constantly remind myself not to play the “I have a secret” game with her, because I don’t ever want her to think that, because daddy tells me secrets, it must be ok for others to tell me secrets. Secrets are not ok. As adults, we are unforgiving of secrets and they are associated with gossip or betrayal. Why, then, do we normalize and play games telling secrets with our children? It may seem trivial, but it’s really not. I have a stack of about 30 books on pedophilia. There’s one thing that is in every one of those books–pedophiles constantly groom and test children by playing “secret” games.
Let me know your thoughts. What are some of your boundaries? What are some things we can do to make sure our parental boundaries are not crossed?