Being a teen can be difficult; you’re learning to navigate a more adult world full of sometimes uncomfortable social situations, which may or may not include peer pressure, while also trying to “be cool.” To alleviate some of the stress that comes with these instances, one dad is sharing an invaluable code he uses with his own kids, which acts as an out for them during any awkward social situation — and it’s something you and your kids should adopt ASAP.
“As a teen, forcing down alcohol seemed a whole lot easier than offering myself up for punishment, endless nagging and interrogation, and the potential end of freedom as I knew it,” Bert Fulks, a father and youth minister, shared on his blog. “For these reasons, we now have something called the ‘X-plan’ in our family. This simple, but powerful tool is a lifeline that our kids are free to use at any time.”
Here’s how it works:
“Let’s say that my youngest, Danny, gets dropped off at a party. If anything about the situation makes him uncomfortable, all he has to do is text the letter ‘X’ to any of us (his mother, me, his older brother or sister). The one who receives the text has a very basic script to follow. Within a few minutes, they call Danny’s phone. When he answers, the conversation goes like this:
‘Danny, something’s come up and I have to come get you right now.’
‘I’ll tell you when I get there. Be ready to leave in five minutes. I’m on my way.’
At that point, Danny tells his friends that something’s happened at home, someone is coming to get him, and he has to leave. In short, Danny knows he has a way out; at the same time, there’s no pressure on him to open himself to any social ridicule. He has the freedom to protect himself while continuing to grow and learn to navigate his world.”
Pretty genius, right?
Bert continues his post, highlighting one important component to the plan. “Once he’s been extracted from the trenches, Danny knows that he can tell us as much or as little as he wants . . . but it’s completely up to him. The X-plan comes with the agreement that we will pass no judgments and ask no questions . . . This can be a hard thing for some parents (admit it, some of us are complete control freaks); but I promise it might not only save them, but it will go a long way in building trust between you and your kid.”