Wakey-wakey, parents!

accreditation

I am not easily roused to anger but one thing that can really get me going is the stupidity of some parents.

OK, we all make mistakes when bringing up children.  There is no such thing as a perfect parent.  Most parents are on a learning curve and doing the best they can.  But please folks, are you aware that there are paedophiles out there?

What has prompted this outburst is the photo that I saw on Facebook this morning of a little boy’s 12th birthday party.  So nothing wrong with that you might think, but then I noticed that the child has a Facebook account which seemed odd as I know that one has to be at least 13 to register an account.  So I checked his profile and saw that his date of birth is shown as being in 1949.

Read more: New Facebook feature for your child's privacy

Right, so there is a deception being practised here and the parents obviously condone it as they had tagged him in the photo.  You may not think that a very serious deception but just hang on please, what do we have here?  We have a very nice-looking little boy pictured with a birthday cake stating that he is turning 12.  His parents are in the photos too so I check their profiles. Their privacy settings allow me to see the town they live in.  Oh, that’s interesting.  Let’s check the phone book.  Bonanza, now I have the street address.  How easy was that?

I go to his Facebook page and although he is not a “friend” of mine I can see his photos and, yippee, I can see what on-line games he plays and, hallelujah, I can see what Sunday School he attends.

Back to his mother’s page – she is a “friend” of mine so I can read comments the 12-year old has made about his birthday photos.  The first one is, “I am sexy and I know it and ain't afraid to show it “ followed by a tongue emoticon.  Well, if that isn’t grist to a paedophile’s mill then I don’t know what is.  His loving granny then responds with her own comment, “I know you sexy my boy........don't be afraid to show it.”  What she should have said is, “You silly little boy. You don’t even know what sexy means.  Rather tell me that you are achieving at school, doing well at sports and being kind to dumb animals.”

There follow a lot of other comments that might seem innocuous but to the perverted mind of a paedophile would be very significant.  What I have related here is actual fact.  I have not revealed the names of the parents concerned but if they should happen to read this, so much the better. 

I hope that I have conveyed how easy it is for a predator to pounce on a child who may not be old enough to sense ulterior motives in the advances – a talk about a favourite game, a meeting in the park, a milkshake.  Up till now I have not mentioned that the child concerned is a special needs child and for that reason he is all the more vulnerable.  The fact is that every child is vulnerable when it becomes the prey of a twisted mind.

Are you guilty of allowing your child to be exposed to such dangers?

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Zama zama crackdown: What are your thoughts on West Village residents taking the law into their own hands?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Authorities should bring in the army already
11% - 1377 votes
Illegal miners can't be scapegoated for all crime
50% - 6472 votes
What else did we expect without no proper policing
36% - 4746 votes
Vigilante groups are also part of the problem
4% - 460 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
16.17
+0.5%
Rand - Pound
19.69
+0.6%
Rand - Euro
16.64
+0.8%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.51
+0.2%
Rand - Yen
0.12
+0.7%
Gold
1,788.06
-0.1%
Silver
20.36
+0.3%
Palladium
2,278.00
-0.5%
Platinum
962.50
+0.2%
Brent Crude
99.60
+2.2%
Top 40
64,447
-0.3%
All Share
71,141
-0.2%
Resource 10
65,379
-0.7%
Industrial 25
86,666
-0.5%
Financial 15
16,085
+0.8%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE