In over 230 pages, the authors provide parents with practical advice and wisdom divided into three main sections by ages. In reality, you could just turn to the section that applies to the age of your children and become equipped with examples of abuse and how you can prevent it from happening to your children and families. Each of the chapters on examples of abuse provides the reader with messages for your child and what to do if you do suspect abuse. The messages for your child include tools and truth like: "children have the right to say no to anyone who asks them to do anything painful, embarrassing, or wrong" (89). If you suspect abuse, Protecting Your Child from Predators provides red flags for you to recognize as well as makes recommendations for who you can seek out for help and assistance.
"This is not a book of scare tactics, but of safety tactics."
How is the Book Organized?
As I shared above, Protecting Your Child from Predators has three main sections along with an introduction, two introductory chapters with background, and a conclusion. There are also recommended resources and notes for the reader. If you want to find out just want your five-, eight-, or 14-year-old should know, find the appropriate section and read the first chapter in that section.
Section I: Children Five and Under
Section II: Children Ages Six to Eleven
Section III: Ages Twelve and Older
Each Section is further divided into examples of abusers and possible avenues for abuse:
- Authority figures
- Family members or trusted friends
I found it very helpful to read through the entire book to refresh what I already knew and fill in the blanks, as well. As our younger children are more involved in activities, we want to make sure they understand that God created their bodies, they know the correct names of body parts, know about safe touches, secrets, and more that are recommended in the first two sections. I also found section three very helpful in providing some ideas of conversations to have with our teen son. While we have had many conversations on similar topics with him, it never hurts to go over the peril of predators again. For example, teaching our son safety skills for group gatherings (pouring their own beverage and keeping it in their sight) and how to gain protective attention in public places (screaming, telling others the person is not their friend).
I recommend Protecting Your Child from Predators for any parent or grandparent. It will help them distinguish important information to share with their children at the appropriate age as well as show them warning signs and red flags to look for in different circumstances. Sometimes we think life is just like the movies and like the authors suggest, so much of the nature of abuse is not like the movies at all. Reading concrete strategies and examples of cases from a licensed professional counselor can be very helpful for parents and grandparents.
God is there for parents who need help in protecting their children. If we look at Ephesians, as suggested in the book, we find that we have the Armor of God to put on that will help us develop a warrior heart. We do not have to wage war in the world. Our weapons are provided by God and with foreknowledge, we will develop our own warrior hearts and the warrior hearts of our children.