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Anxious about paedophiles

(19 Posts)
Sadiesnan Tue 04-Aug-15 20:13:54

I have two small granddaughters aged two and four and two grandsons aged one month and one year. I am haunted about what happened to Madeleine McCann, even more so now I have my grandchildren.

All the stuff in the press about paedophiles brings it home on a daily basis. When my children were small I never even thought about it, yet today we're bombarded with how widespread it is.

I'm heartbroken for all the children the world over who have, are and will suffer at the hands of these monsters. I worry too much that something will happen to one of my grandchildren. My son and DIL are taking the children camping soon and already my mind is in overdrive. I just want it to stop.

Luckygirl Tue 04-Aug-15 20:17:55

You are being over-anxious. These dreadful occurrences are rare. I am sure that the parents of your DGC will take every care.

downtoearth Tue 04-Aug-15 20:41:01

Has something happened in your life that has made you this anxious
about your DGC and you are transferring your fears about their safety.
sometimes other incidents/trauma can have this effectxxx

Sadiesnan Tue 04-Aug-15 21:01:58

No nothing has happened to me, yet especially with Madeleine McCann my imagination runs away with me about how it must have been for her.

Ana Tue 04-Aug-15 21:06:25

But we don't even know whether Madeleine was abducted by one or more paedophiles. Sadly, we may never learn the truth.

It really is very unlikely that anything like that will happen to your grandchildren, Sadiesnan, although I know that won't stop you worrying.

Elegran Tue 04-Aug-15 21:15:54

Saidesnan It is natural to be aware of the possible dangers to your children and grandchildren, but if it reaches the point of being haunted by fears that something bad will happen to them, then you are becoming obsessed and anxious, and these thoughts are overwhelming your mind. The scary thoughts drive up your adrenaline level, which makes you feel more anxious, which makes you have more bad thoughts, which sends it all round the circle again.

It is very difficult to get out of the cycle yourself, so you really ouight to see your GP about it, and take his advice.

Coolgran65 Tue 04-Aug-15 21:30:13

Sadiesnan Could this be a general anxiety that is focussing itself onto this particular issue. Elegran explains it very well. Please see your GP.

vampirequeen Wed 05-Aug-15 09:07:34

There have always been paedophiles, it's just that the media reports on them all the time now. In the past they operated in secret or if it was known about people 'dealt' with it and didn't understand that these creatures won't stop.

All you can do is teach children about stranger danger. That said you don't want them to be terrified of everyone because most people aren't paedophiles.

I think the trick is to teach children how to stay safe and to respect their own bodies. I taught the swimming costume rule i.e. if it's covered by your swimming costume then it's private and no one should touch you there. If someone does you must tell someone even if the person who touched you told you that you had to keep it a secret or that your mum, dad or somone you loved would get hurt if you didn't. I also taught them never to go with anyone without telling me first...even their own friends. My DDs and now our children play out but they check in regularly and stay within a defined area so that if we decide to look for them we know where they will be. As they get older the defined area will increase in size until they're free to roam.

vampirequeen Wed 05-Aug-15 09:08:37

Not wanting to increase your anxiety but a lot of paedophiles are known to/friends of/members of the family.

TwiceAsNice Wed 05-Aug-15 09:16:51

I know what you mean Sadiesnan I am ok when my grandchildren are home with their parents and Aunty ( my younger daughter lives next door to her sister and nieces and plays a huge part in their lives so I feel there is always an extra adult looking out for them) however when they go on holiday abroad later this month for two weeks I worry a lot the time they are there and remind them before they go to keep the girls close to them all the time. My younger daughter is a worrier like me so she does really watch them. I'm also twitchy at this time because I'm aware that all the people I love most in the world are all on the same plane and am not really relaxed until they have landed back home. I'm going to be relocating right by them in about 18months time so I'll be able to watch them then and will probably feel happier. It doesn't help that I've worked with sexual offenders in the past and know a lot about it.

Luckygirl Wed 05-Aug-15 09:38:43

When I was young the local flasher was just a part of life - to be ignored and giggled about. I'm not necessarily saying that was a good thing.

GillT57 Wed 05-Aug-15 11:55:46

Agree with VQ, there have always been paedophiles, and as we have been discovering over the past year or so, their activities were unknown to most of us as they terrified their victims into keeping silent, telling them they wouldn't be believed, (generally true sadly, as the victims were often accused of making it up or being a liar). I heard a ghastly man on Radio 4 yesterday defending Edward Heath by saying that a man like him wouldn't mix with people like that...angry. but to get back to the OP, these awful people have always been with us, but you mustn't blight your life, and your grandchildrens' lives by seeing paedophiles in every public place. Also, it is a sad fact that most victims are groomed by people known within the family group. You must not let this worry take over your life ( I know what I am talking about, I could worry for Britain).

Sadiesnan Wed 05-Aug-15 13:13:07

Thanks for all the great replies. I keep my worries to myself as I don't want to transfer my anxiety to my family. I want my kids to go off with their kids and enjoy themselves rather than taking on my anxiety.

I can see from the replies I've had that I've got things out of perspective. This is truly an excellent forum with some really sensible Grans out there. Thank you.

Tegan Wed 05-Aug-15 14:00:19

DD,SIL and the boys were flying back from holiday on Sunday night. When they got home SIL told her to phone me to say they were back safe to which she replied 'no point; she'll have been watching the flight arrivals on the internet all night'..which, of course, I was blush. When you're worried about something you home in on all of the news items [of which there are many]. When my children were small it was all talk about nuclear war; I went to see my doctor because I was so worried and he just said 'do you get out much and meet people; if not, start doing it'. I thought at the time it was a daft thing to say; in retrospect he was right.Once you have children and grandchildren the world suddenly becomes a very scary place; it's just a case of dealing wih that fear I guess.

Iam64 Wed 05-Aug-15 20:06:01

Sadiesnan there are lots of sensible comments here. All children should be helped to keep themselves safe, in an age appropriate way. We wouldn't let our teenagers go out without advice about drink/drugs/staying with friends/not accepting lifts etc. We can start the keep safe advice when they're tiny - be careful on the swing, don't eat too many sweets etc on a spectrum to don't talk to people you don't know at the playground.

The saddest reality is that children are most a risk from people they know, whether in their family or friendship network. We can help them keep as safe as possible but life is full of risks and dangers so we have to keep it in perspective and help the children do that as well.

Try not to over think it all smile

NanSue Wed 05-Aug-15 20:32:36

I do sympathise Sadiesnan. I not only worry about the whole paedophile thing but also pretty much every possible dreadful senario of "what ifs" regarding the GC's safety keeps me awake for hours on end at night. It really does not seem rational in the light of day. As you say you can't share your anxieties with the family so it all builds up.
I think in my case Elegran may well be right.

elena Fri 07-Aug-15 11:42:06

Worrying is normal, but worrying that interferes with the joy of life is not. Watching the flight arrivals through the night is not a good thing to do - it just increases anxiety. I feel fairly strongly about this - I have seen worry escalate in my own family, and people's sympathy starts to run out and become irritation. It means plans and events and activities are not even shared with the worrier 'because X will worry so much'.

The solution lies in therapy, I think, when it gets as bad as this. CBT or counselling can be effective.

elena Fri 07-Aug-15 11:57:44

Should add that it's horrible to be as 'worrying' as this sad

Nonnie Fri 07-Aug-15 12:04:37

We taught our children a password for if someone collected them from school or elsewhere when they were not expecting it. At 37 DS3 still remembers it. It was never necessary but gave us peace of mind.

Recently the subject came up with DGC, aged 5 and 3 and they knew about not going off with someone they didn't know but didn't know about anyone telling them not to tell Mummy or Daddy. They then told me that Mummy says if they tell Daddy they won't get any sweets. So what is she doing they mustn't tell Daddy? I find this very worrying as she insists on knowing every detail of what they do with Daddy. When I wouldn't give one what he wanted he said 'I'll tell Mummy'. I told him to go ahead!