When it comes to things you should never let your kids do, the list might vary from parent to parent. Parenting styles are not all the same, but the underlying parental need to protect your child is universal.
In a TikTok that went viral last year, child crimes investigator @emily.speed7 details three things she would never let her kids do, based on her job experiences.
The mama of one starts her video by saying that her kids will never have the following three things because she is a detective that investigates crimes against children.
“The first one is sleepovers. You never know who’s gonna be there and that’s not just other adults. That’s also other kids and siblings. I’ve had a lot of cases involving things that happen at sleepovers.”
If you’re thinking that you’ll just host the sleepover instead, she adds that she does not recommend that either.
“Second one is Snapchat. It’s not a good app, there’s a lot of predators on this app that try to find kids and teenagers and get them to send pictures and videos of themselves, so I’ve had a lot of cases involving this app with child exploitation, so my kids will never have this.”
Statistics show that 90% of child sexual abuse victims know their abuser, which means that only 10% occur with a stranger. And, about 60% of those children are abused by someone their family trusts. The non-profit organization, Darkness to Light, is working towards ending child sexual abuse through, advocacy, education and research. They also have a handy checklist that can serve as a guideline for a safer sleepover experience for your child.
Plus, when it comes to the dangers of social media, the risks go far beyond mom-shaming or unattainable body images. According to Darkness to Light, online crimes of child sexual exploitation have increased so much so that they are, “exceeding the capabilities of law enforcement to combat it.”
The last thing on this mama’s list is talking to children about stranger danger, but not in the way you might think.
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She says, “Really won’t be teaching this just because statistics show that people that perpetrate on kids are usually the ones that are closest to us, that we love and that we trust. So, instead I’m gonna be teaching more like, good touch and bad touch.”
She continues to say that the old storyline of a “creepy old man” in a van isn’t something she’ll talk to her kids about. Instead, she adds, she’ll make it clear to her children that they can always talk to her if anything should happen to them and that they’ll never be in trouble if something like this were to happen to them.
The comments on this video seem to agree with her.
“my parents never let me do sleepovers. I used to get so mad, but now that I’m older I understand why & will do the same.”
“Love this! So important, I wish it wasn’t, but I’m glad you’re raising this.”
Other professionals also weighed in.
“Adult and Pediatric Forensic Nurse here! Thanks for what you do… don’t forget, teach kids correct anatomical names for body parts. So Important!”
“As a social worker, I agree w/this list. Plus never letting them go to a public restroom alone, even if you’re familiar with it/think it’s safe.”
Learning about the dangers of the world can feel overwhelming but knowledge is power, so having important conversations with your child is key. Ultimately, you know your child best and can ascertain what is best for them.
A version of this story was originally published on Nov. 30, 2022. It has been updated.