What to look for:
~ A person who is very helpful or alluring
~ A person who exhibits peer-like play
~ A person who has no adult friends and will spend time with children rather than adults
~ A person who plays tickling games and roughhouses/dog piles with kids
~ A person who is immediately accepted into the family
~ A person who refuses to honor boundaries set by you or by society in general
These are all signs of grooming that child predators will use on you, your family, and on entire communities. There is no way to know for sure if someone is a child molester until they have violated a child. Therefore, you cannot accuse someone based on this information. Instead, you can use this as a tool to screen out high risk people, and to keep them away from your children.
A person who is very helpful or alluring:
By alluring we mean they are enticing, flattering, and well loved. This is someone who is well liked and always there for you, usually knowing what you need before you even ask for it. They suck you in and manipulate you into unconditional trust without you even realizing it. Inside, they hate you. But on the outside, they become whatever it is you want or need. They want you to like them and trust them so that when they rape your child, you won’t suspect a thing.
A person who exhibits peer-like play:
Ever hear someone described as “just another big kid”? That’s fine, as long as they are able to switch back to an adult rather than staying in the “kid” mode continuously. Child molesters think of children as their peers. They see them in terms of sexual attraction, not cuteness.
A person who has no adult friends and chooses to spend time with children rather than adults:
We all have friends and even acquaintances that we talk with on a regular basis. Child predators devote all of their time to children. Their entire lives revolve around children. They continue babysitting, and often prefer activities and jobs that involve children like mentoring for children’s organizations, coaching, teaching, camp counselors, etc. They will often choose these activities over socializing with adults. There's nothing wrong with jobs and activities that revolve around children, but when an adult chooses children over nearly all adult activities, they are high risk.
A person who plays tickling games and roughhouses/dog piles with kids:
When interviewed, convicted child molesters describe how they use tickling to desensitize children to sexual touch, and to push the boundaries of acceptable behavior in front of the parents. Is it alright for Grandpa to tickle his grandchild and laugh with him or her? Yes, of course it is. But it’s not appropriate for a grown man or woman to “dog pile” with several young children. It’s also not appropriate for an adult to get physically personal with your children by tickling and touching. Put a stop to this behavior immediately.
A person who is immediately accepted into the family:
We're talking about the level of trust and acceptance. Being accepted into a family situation should take time and trust. Child predators are skilled at manipulating adults into accepting them. Stop and take a look at any situation where a stranger, who approaches your family or child, immediately gains your complete trust and acceptance.
A person who refuses to honor boundaries set by you or by society in general:
He might touch children’s bottoms when pushing them on the swings, or tickle and touch inappropriately. He might find ways to be alone with your child for long periods of time. He might give your child gifts and convince your child that they need to spend more time alone together.
Anyone who crosses the line and does something to make you or your child uncomfortable, should be setting off alarms. He will use excuses that make him appear to be helping your child, or concerned for your child. Excuses such as helping with homework, or practicing baseball, etc.
Often when confronted, the predator will go on the attack and be offended that you accused him. He may accuse you of being inappropriate. Then he will continue the abuse. He wants you to think that you are over reacting.