Give Your Child a Secret Code to Help Him Get Out of Difficult Situations

Children, no matter how you bring them up, will find themselves in difficult life situations. You know those moments – the ones they don’t want to be in, but they also don’t want to look uncool by dodging. It’s great that you reminded them that they can call you for help at any time and for any reason, but that offer is often lost when pressure is put on them. You need a more specific plan.

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A strategy that has garnered a lot of social media attention in the past year – and worth celebrating again as kids head into junior and high school – is X-Plan, as a UK father named Bert Fulkes explained on his blog . He describes how it works in his family:

Let’s say my youngest, Danny, is dropped off at a party. If something in the situation makes him uncomfortable, all he has to do is write the letter “X” to any of us (his mother, me, his older brother or sister). Whoever receives the text must follow a very simple script. A few minutes later, they call Danny’s phone. When he answers, the conversation goes like this:


“Danny, something has happened and I have to come for you right now.”

“What’s happened?”

“I’ll tell you when I get there. Expect to leave in five minutes. I am on the way “.

At this point, Danny tells his friends that something happened at home, someone is following him, and he must leave.

That’s all. The child needs to get out of there. You are his alibi. He is safe and his image remains unchanged. You can use the “X” like the Fulks family or another secret code. The new notOK app , developed by 15-year-old Hannah Lucas, can also prove to be a useful tool – when teens feel vulnerable, they can open the app, press the red button, and a text will be sent to the top of five pre-selected contacts that reads, “Hi, I’m not in order. Please call me, email me or find me ”along with a link to their GPS location.

Fulkes writes that there is a big condition for using this system: “The X-Plan comes with an agreement that we will not make judgments or ask questions.” This means that even if you pick up your baby and he smells like Jägermeister and cigarette smoke, even if he is 10 miles from where he should be, even if she pulled you out of bed at 3 a.m. and your first instinct is demand immediately after a full explanation, you must remain calm and allow the child to tell you as much or less as he wants. It’s hard, it’s so hard , but the goal of making a plan is for your kids to use it and avoid potentially bad things. Fulks believes that holding back in these situations builds trust, and in return, your kids are more likely to be the ones to start the conversation on their own.

“Let’s be honest,” he writes. “A child who fears punishment is less likely to seek help when peace comes to him.”

The plan should work in tandem with ongoing discussions about peer pressure, identifying risks, and teaching how to say no. These are children and they are still learning. As they all understand this, they may know that you will always be there if they really need you.


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