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Is 'friend' a predator?(49 Posts)
Someone in our social circle makes me uncomfortable around my preschool aged children. I've raised my concerns with my spouse who can see some of my points but doesn't think my concerns are as serious as I do. They have no children of their own however most of our social circle do.
These are the things they do that set off alarm bells for me
- very friendly with all of the children picks them up etc seems over friendly to me
- gives the children sweets etc without asking parents first
- bought a puppy and takes it over to children to pet
- invites children into house and for a sleepover
- it feels like they try to get time alone with my children, offering to take them to the toilet etc
I know they don't sound like big things but they are not the way other non family members behave in my experience. We socialise a lot as part of a bigger group so they are a familiar face to my children and I am finding it harder and harder to interrupt any time they try to get alone with my children, even seemingly innocent things such as "come over here and help me get the dog lead" to go into the house for a minute makes me paranoid now.
I don't know what to do, I can't go into detail but it would be almost impossible to cut them out of our lives but it just doesn't sit right with me. Does anyone know anywhere I can go anonymously to give more detailed explanations and get some answers?
Have a read of this
What kind of answers do you want? I don't think anyone will be able to tell you whether this person is a child abuser. I would listen to your instincts and be aware of what you allow them to do with your children, and not let them be around your children unsupervised.
I have been prosecuting these cases for over 15 years, I would trust your instincts.
OP, always but always trust your instincts when it comes to your DC. Abuse can flourish, in part, because we are worried about causing offence and quash natural fears. I was abused as a child and whilst the circumstances aren't the same if I'm not sure about someone in my DC's lives I monitor them/cut them out. Their was a father of one of my DD's friends who gave me the creeps and I didn't let her go and play there after he and the DMum split up - I could have been wrong about him but I could have been right and I wasn't going to take the chance. I had his DD to ours instead and said as I work FT I was cutting down on DD's play dates outside the house. Good luck.
Don't let this person be alone with your children. No adult wants sleep overs with children they are not related to.
I have friends/family members that I will never leave my children alone with.
Similar list of "alarm bells" but for me I don't need any bells other than the feeling that something isn't right.
Not everyone will agree but for me personally I don't care if it seems paranoid.
Good luck OP
Family members are one thing but why woukd you have friends you don't trust? Are they people who yo enjoy spending time with?
Stealth that's a bit harsh to the OP have you not heard that abusers are people close to the family or that they effectively groom the whole family? OP also said that they are part of some sort of group.
Tricky people is what I suggest too
I wouldn't let my children anywhere near this person, it's simply not worth the risk
I was actually talking to odd socks but the point is the same and I do take it
But I can't imagine socialising, laughing, taking photos of someone and sharing good times when I had huge suspicions about something so serious
In my experience, both as a survivor and having seen it going on your post has made me feel very uncomfortable. I would ring the nspcc and have a chat. Ignore your gut at your peril.
I think you can really trust your instincts here. Tell his man to stop trying to find reasons to be alone with your children. Let him know you are onto him. Nobody without kids offers sleepovers without a very good reason. I'm not that into confrontation, but I would have that very uncomfortable conversation for my kids safety.
Has no one else in your group noticed?
Stealth, if I knew someone was a predator I obviously wouldn't let them near my kids but not every person who gives me weird vibes will be a predator and not every predator will give me weird vibes if you see what I mean?
The Friends though I wouldn't leave my kids with mostly because either we have very different parenting styles or I wouldn't know who they would also be around.
A friend of mine was raped by her best friends big brother at a sleepover as a child so maybe I am a bit more cautious.
The not knowing who else they would be around but sounds ridiculous sorry, but a few of my friends have made really bad partner choices in the past. Alarm bell types who constantly want to be near their young daughters/drug dealers/strange people, I suppose I would feel differently if all my friends were in normal healthy relationships?
I think some of your concerns could be totally innocent (picking children up, offering sweets, letting them play with puppy) but others would make me very uncomfortable (offering sleepovers, wanting to take them to the toilet WTF??). Ultimately as a mother you have to trust your instincts. I don't think anyone could accuse you if being paranoid. Cautious perhaps but that's a good thing.
You need to act on your gut feeling and not worry about seeming rude. It sounds like it's not going to be possible to manage this situation fully without this friend knowing that you don't trust them. You will have to put a stop to any time spent alone with the children, which means either accompanying them into the house to get the dog lead (to use your example) or saying no, sorry we don't allow the children to be alone with non-family adults. It will be awkward, I won't lie, but that is nothing compared with the safety of your children.
Ohyesiam I don't think OP has said whether it's a man or woman.
Either way, I would listen to your instincts.
Your instincts are there for a reason. Trust them.
ALWAYS trust your instincts.
From what you say my instincts would be telling me the same.
Please protect your children.
I'm not in the "always trust your instincts" camp. In my work I have seen people's instincts be wildly wrong.
However, if you are uncomfortable with the situation then step in and don't let your DCs be alone with that person, that's your right.
It may be that the person would love a family of their own but is unable to have one. Some people just love being around children. I do. Until we had our DSs I used to borrow my niece for the day and take her out. We still have a loving relationship now. Sometimes we take her DCs out to give her a break. I would hate for anyone to think there was something perverse in that.
It's important to make sure your DCs understand about inappropriate touching. Your instincts could be right but they could also be wrong. Be watchful.
A nice, honest person would not be offended if you limit their access to your kids.
I was once with a gay male couple at a pub on the Thames. I saw a cute toddler and waved at her. The mum got very anxious and snatched her DD away. Her reaction was rather OTT but didn't bother me as I was pg with DC2 at the time and completely understood the need to protect your kids. Unfortunately, I never look pg - I just look fat so she probably didn't realise. The point is, I wasn't offended by her reaction. Decent people aren't.
Trust your instincts
Also, I would try and bring up conversation with someone you trust in the group of friends.. they may all well be feeling the same
How well and how long have you known this person?
I think I would have to say something to this potential predator to let them know that you're suspicious (this doesn't need to be confrontational, can be done with a smile).
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