I know we’ve touched on this topic more than a few times, but I don’t think we can repeat it enough. The article below has some really good advice, but maybe none more so than this:
Building a foundation of trust, where the child feels safe all of the time, can build the safety net kids need to be able to come to you when something scary happens.
I was groomed and because I was already dealing with an alcoholic parent, and physical abuse at his hands, I didn’t trust anyone to tell them what else was happening to me. Too many survivors will tell you some similar tale, they didn’t have anyone to trust, or the people they thought they could trust, didn’t believe them.
Once that avenue is cut off like that, any hope of getting help is lost, you’re on your own to figure out how to navigate what an abuser wants to do to you, with all of the skills you’d expect a child to have it that situation, which is to say, not much.
If you want to raise your kids better, or just be a support to children you know or that you are close to, be the trusted adult, and earn that role. Be the safe outlet, the place a child can go and talk about what is happening online, at school, or at home, and educate yourself on what to do if they should tell you something that makes you think they are being groomed. Also, take some time to learn the tools your kids are using online, have them show you, play with them, be aware of how much interaction is involved, and understand what their online life looks like as much as their offline life, because to many younger people today, they are not separate.
That’s how you help in any situation. Be trustworthy, be supportive, be educated, and be the person they can count on.