Parents do not look forward to the day their sweet child turns into an unruly teenager. Because of this, Bert Fulks created an innovative tool he calls the “X Plan.”
Bert is a minister who shares insights and parenting tips on his blog Bert Fulks. He also has the privilege of working with kids who are in addiction treatment.
The father of three learns a lot from his work with kids overcoming addictions and is applies these lessons to his own parenting.
After the kids in the support group had told him they often stayed in uncomfortable and potentially dangerous situations just because they did not have an easy way out, he realized something: kids need escape routes.
Bert decided he would implement a rule with his own kids. It is similar to the code word some bars use to help women in trouble. Bert gave his kids a secret text message that they could send him, no questions asked, if and when they need to get out of a bad situation fast.
See below to learn more about Bert’s clever parenting tactic.
That’s why he decided to create something he calls the “X Plan.”
He writes: “Recently I asked these kids a simple question: ‘How many of you have found yourself in situations where things started happening that you weren’t comfortable with, but you stuck around, mainly because you felt like you didn’t have a way out?’ They all raised their hands.”
He decided that whenever his own kids were at a friend’s house, a dance, or a party, they would have a special code word to get them out as quickly as possible if they needed it.
He uses a text exchange with his youngest son, Danny, as an example.
After giving his son permission to sleep over at a friend’s house, Bert reminds him, “Be good. Remember who you are. And whose you are.”
His son replies, “I know. Thx.”
Then, later that night, he sends another text, the single letter, “X.”
The letter “X” is the agreed-upon code word in the Bert household.
When Bert saw that text message, he knew his son needed to get away from his friend’s house immediately.
The letter “X” is just one part of Bert’s X Plan.
Here’s how it works, according to his blog:
“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.”
Danny then tells his friends that something’s happened at home, someone is coming to get him, and he has to leave.”
This is the perfect solution for any kid looking for a similar plan. When you try sending an anonymous text that looks like a typo, it’s the perfect way to inconspicuously alert your parents that something is up.
Bert also emphasizes that this is meant as a safety measure. He told his kids they don’t have to say a word if they don’t want to and they can’t get in trouble for using the code.
If one of the kids decided to drink a beer or smoke a cigarette before realizing that the situation is out of control and calling home, they will still feel comfortable getting Mom or Dad’s assistance.
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