I am sickened by ever constant reports in the media of children being sexually abused. This is all too commonplace, reprehensible and unforgivable. We can’t be with our children 24-7, but there’s a few simple things you can do, just a nickle’s worth of free advice from 30 years experience in criminal prosecution and defense, family law and having raised three children.

First, have open discussions with your children about sex and their bodies. They should not be ashamed to discuss sex with you, nor should you be reluctant or ashamed to discuss sex with them. I remember my son’s doctor visit, when he was four years old.  The doctor got down to his level and explained to him, the parts of his body, ect. The doctor advised me, that this discussion starts early, and should be frequent. 

Secondly, enable your children to say “no” to adults.  This means that you can say no to any adult, without fear of being disrespectful or rude.  The sexual predator wants a complacent victim.  Unfortunately, this predator is often someone you know, like a family member, minister, priest, coach, scout leader or an individual who has purposefully interjected himself into your child’s life and or extracurricular activities in some manner. The sexual predator is often an individual who is in a position of trust and authority over the child. It’s not the boogey man, hiding behind the bush, waiting to grab your child at a bus stop.

Third, do not entrust your child with adults like ministers, coaches, relatives, sleepovers at friend’s houses, etc. If you must, then use good judgment. Yet, never trust that other people are as decent and loving as you toward your child.  If your child is in these extracurricular activities, that’s awesome.  However, you must also attend each event, practice, meeting, or otherwise participate and be proactive.  

Fourth, who is your child talking with on the internet or with their smart phone. You pay the bill. Does the bill reflect calls to phone numbers which are unfamiliar; made at strange hours, numerous.  What apps do they have installed on their smart phone or tablets, Messenger, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, What’s App, Google Voice, Email, etc.

Fifth and most importantly is an open line of communication. Your child should know that he or she can come to you for just about anything and everything, without being embarrassed, ashamed or worried that they will get be in trouble. They should be comfortable to talk with you about anything and everything. Always keep those lines of communication open.

I do not profess to be a perfect parent. My wife Laura and I raised three children together. I don’t have all the answers. This is just advice from 30 years experience as prosecutor and criminal defense attorney, family law and dependency law (abuse and neglect of children).  Sadly, I see these types of cases all too often. 

To those who are offended, I make no apologies. If I could prevent one child from being hurt by posting this advice, it’s worth it.  Attorney Tulin 813-717-9400  #AttorneyTulin