What is 'Grooming' And How Can You Spot it?

Parents On Alert In Wake Of AMBER ALERT
Posted at 9:55 PM, Mar 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-30 22:23:45-04

It's a term that's been mentioned several times since 15-year-old Elizabeth Thomas went missing more than two weeks ago, but what exactly is "grooming?"

Experts said it's an adult attempting to manipulate a child to get them to think and do what they want.

Experts said you can try to spot if someone may be trying to groom or manipulate your child, like Teacher Tad Cummins is suspected of doing with Elizabeth Thomas.

Monitor where your children are spending their time, and if it may be with one particular adult. Also watch for any change in their behavior, keeping in mind that change might not always be negative.

"Sometimes children actually perform better and focus on certain things because they're trying to please or they don't have a lot of control in their life, and they're trying to do well in one area they can control," said Marcus Stamps with the Davis House Child Advocacy Center.

Experts said it's important to have conversations with adults your child spends time with if you think they're spending an inappropriate amount of one on one time with them, even if its a difficult conversation.