X-Plan: Giving your kids a way out (#xplan)

(As seen on The Today Show, Good Housekeeping, HerViewFromHome, ScaryMommy, The Huffington Post, Mamamia, MomsEveryday, and numerous social and news media outlets. UPDATED – 3/3/2017)

Friends, as most of you know, I get to spend an hour each week with a group of young people going through addiction recovery.  Yes.  Young people.  I’m talking teenagers who are locked away for at least six months as they learn to overcome their addictions.  I’m always humbled and honored to get this time with these beautiful young souls that have been so incredibly assaulted by a world they have yet to understand.  This also comes with the bittersweet knowledge that these kids still have a fighting chance while several of my friends have already had to bury their own children.

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.

Every single one of them.

In the spirit of transparency … I get it.  Though in my mid-forties, I’m still in touch with that awkward boy who often felt trapped in the unpredictable currents of teenage experiences.  I can’t count the times sex, drugs, and alcohol came rushing into my young world; I wasn’t ready for any of it, but I didn’t know how to escape and, at the same time, not castrate myself socially.  I still recall my first time drinking beer at a friend’s house in junior high school—I hated it, but I felt cornered.  As an adult, that now seems silly, but it was my reality at the time.  “Peer pressure” was a frivolous term for an often silent, but very real thing; and I certainly couldn’t call my parents and ask them to rescue me.  I wasn’t supposed to be there in the first place.  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.

X-Plan

xplan-text1-2For 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:

“Hello?”

“Danny, something’s come up and I have to come get you right now.”

“What happened?”

“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.

This is one of the most loving things we’ve ever given him, and it offers him a sense of security and confidence in a world that tends to beat our young people into submission.

xplan-text1However, there’s one critical component to the X-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 (even if he is 10 miles away from where he’s supposed to be).  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.

(One caveat here is that Danny knows if someone is in danger, he has a moral obligation to speak up for their protection, no matter what it may cost him personally.  That’s part of the lesson we try to teach our kids—we are our brother’s keeper, and sometimes we have to stand for those too weak to stand for themselves.  Beyond that, he doesn’t have to say a word to us.  Ever.)

For many of us parents, we lament the intrusion of technology into our relationships.  I hate seeing people sit down to dinner together and then proceed to stare into their phones.  It drives me nuts when my kids text me from another room in our house.  However, cell phones aren’t going away, so we need to find ways to use this technology to help our kids in any way we can.

Since first publishing this piece, I’ve seen an incredible amount of discussion about the pros and cons. Here are some of the questions folks have had:

Doesn’t this encourage dishonesty?

Absolutely not. It actually presents an opportunity for you as a parent to teach your kids that they can be honest (something DID come up, and they DO have to leave), while learning that it’s okay to be guarded in what they reveal to others. They don’t owe anyone an explanation the next day, and if asked can give the honest answer, “It’s private and I don’t want to talk about it.” Boom! Another chance for a social skill life-lesson from Mom and Dad.

Does this cripple a kid socially instead of teaching them to stand up to others?

I know plenty of adults who struggle to stand up to others. This simply gives your kid a safe way out as you continue to nurture that valuable skill.

What if this becomes habitual?

If you’re regularly rescuing your kid, hopefully your family is having some conversations about that.

If you don’t talk about it or ask questions, how do they learn?

If you’re building a relationship of trust with your kids, they’ll probably be the ones to start the conversation. More importantly, most of these conversations need to take place on the FRONT-side of events. Ever taken a cruise? They all make you go through the safety briefing in case the boat sinks. They don’t wait until the ship’s on fire to start telling you about the lifeboats. Talk with them. Let your kids ask questions and give them frank answers.

If they’re not where they’re supposed to be, shouldn’t there be consequences?

Let’s be honest. A kid in fear of punishment is a lot less likely to reach out for help when the world comes at them. Admitting that they’re in over their heads is a pretty big life-lesson all by itself. However, don’t get so caught up in all of the details. This isn’t a one-size-fits-all scheme. Every parent, every kid, and every situation is unique. What it might look like in your family could be totally different from mine—and that’s okay.

I urge you to use some form of our X-plan in your home.  If you honor it, your kids will thank you for it.  You never know when something so simple could be the difference between your kid laughing with you at the dinner table or spending six months in a recovery center … or (God forbid) something far worse.

At the end of the day, however, the most important thing is that you’re having some open, honest discussions with your kids. Keep building a relationship of trust. This isn’t the same world we grew up in. It’s not like sneaking a beer at Billy’s house anymore. Our kids face things on a daily basis that—given one bad decision—can be fatal. Don’t believe me? I’ve been to funerals for great kids from awesome families.

Friends, it’s a dangerous world. And our kids are out in it everyday.

Prayers for strength and compassion to the parents out there as we all try to figure out this whole parenting gig—it never gets easy.

I beg you to share this piece.  Talk about it with your kids.  If this somehow gives just one kid a way out of a bad situation, we can all feel privileged to have been a part of that.

#xplan

Blessings, friends.

 

x-plan-parenting-cover

Release date from Simon & Schuster / Howard Books: June 11, 2019.

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778 thoughts on “X-Plan: Giving your kids a way out (#xplan)

  1. I was the kids who threw my mom under the bus to get out of situations, but she resented it. She’s find out that I had said she wouldn’t let me go, then make me feel bad for lying. Well, yeah technically it’s a lie but in Harry Potter, one of the kids won the freaking house cup for standing up to his friends! It’s really hard to stand up to peer pressure, if it was easy it would be called peer requests, or peer suggestion! I wish I had had an out like this.

    Liked by 3 people

    • My mom told me to use her as a reason to get out of a bad situation. She didn’t care if my friends didn’t like it. I’ve taken the same approach with my kids. Making out in the driveway. “My mom might see.” It worked. BTW my mom was in bed.

      Liked by 2 people

      • My son was taught to text “call me” when he was 8 and I knew to call and say you’ve got to come home. He’s 21 now, had to use it many times during high school days, but it worked.

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    • Wow. So sorry. That sucks. Bet you would be the “out” for your kids! You did the right thing all those years ago. Even if your mom was resentful, you were the smart one! She just didn’t know how good she had it…..

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    • While still a newlywed, I played the heavy for my wife. Being the heavy for my sons followed that, easily. Before cell phones: they could say that I required them to call and check in with me. Hey, they could use me any way they needed to. They are fully adult men, but that freedom is still available. I have no idea where the idea came from. God, maybe.

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    • My dad would regularly volunteer to be ‘the bad guy’ if I needed a way out of these kinds of scenario.

      As events turned out, I never got into one of those scenarios, mostly because they knew I’d be up to no good, and I resented that. But in hindsight, now my kids are growing up, I concede that my parents were good at their job!

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    • I wax glad to see in the article that it was also a requirement that the kid “tell” if someone else was in danger or needed help. That was so important to teach moral redpinsiblity……

      Liked by 1 person

    • My mom was the opposite. She told me that anytime someone asked me to come over or hang out and I didn’t feel comfortable with it or I simply didn’t want to go, I could always use her as an excuse. As a parent, it was her job to say no to me when necessary, and she had no problem being the “bad guy” and backing me up when I didn’t want to hang out with someone. One of the many reasons I love and appreciate her.

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    • I’m sorry. Just yesterday my son asked if he could do something and I said “Well, I’m not real comfortable with it, but if really think that the environment is going to be okay, and you promise to call if something doesn’t feel right, then I’ll leave it up to you if you want to go, because you’ve been being honest with us for a long time.” (he has a history of lying). Then, he decided not to go, and I said “OK. Well, you know you can just tell him that your mom and dad said you couldn’t.” He said “I know.” My 5 kids have always been taught to make us look like the bad guys. And I do the same thing my mom did. If they call and ask to do something in front of their friends I ask of they really want to, and they if they happily reply “no” I say no and make up an excuse for them. I love the x plan though, since texting is the norm now. I’ll have to implement that!

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    • When my kids are teenagers, if it gets them out of a situation they shouldn’t be in, they can throw me under the bus and make me the bad guy to their friends. I never had that as an out and if I used my mom’s rules as an excuse, I was made to feel bad as well. I could have used an out so many times. I have vowed not to be that way with my own kids. If they need an out, use “My mom…” as an excuse and there will be no repercussions.

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  2. I use to ask my mum if I could do something and often the answer was ‘do you want me to say yes or no?’ But that was pre-phones. This is such a great option for kids these days.

    I know of a family that have a code in text messages. An odd number of question marks means you need to say no. So their kid will ask ‘can I sleep at Sarah’s tonight???’ And the mum responds with an excuse and no. Then they don’t have to lie to friends who can read the phone that said yes

    Liked by 8 people

  3. What an excellent (and creative) suggestion. The only question I have is whether some clever app designer might create a program to execute it with a series of key clicks on the phone. It seems like if friends nearby saw me texting someone, then suddenly receiving another text, it could prove difficult. But I’m only thinking out loud. I commend this idea 100% and glad I read about it. Thank you!! – DDM

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your comment made me think of a free app that’s really intended to protect victims of domestic violence, but really can be used for any reason a person might need to secretly send a prearranged text to a prearranged person in an emergency, whether the emergency is physical, moral, or social. It’s called Aspire and one of it’s very cool features is that once it’s all set up, if it’s tapped 3 times, it sends a text saying whatever your xplan message is to one or several numbers instantly. Just a thought.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I was thinking about that app too. Looks like regular phone, but sends out an sos. You could probably still use the app since it automated the text being sent. Parents would know it’s to come get them.

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    • I have a Galaxy 6 edge. If I click my power button three times in rapid succession, it sends my location, pics from front and and back camera, and a 5 second video to up to 5 contacts who are deemed emergency contacts with a message that I might be in danger.

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  4. The “safe out” with our teens is basically the same – but we use the word “Mother.” They call me Mom, so if I ever see or hear “ok Mother” or “Mother, can I stay at Steves overnight?” I know they need an out.

    Liked by 4 people

    • I love this. Mine are not old enough for phones but when they are we will.be learning this. Its actually something I want to put in place for when we sre with people they are feeling uncomfortable around they can just say something and I can move away.

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  5. Great Ideal My Mom & I Had A Open Releaship she Always Said I Could Talk / Tell Her Anything & No ? My Mom Raised Me About Right & Wrong & Averything U Say & Do Have Consecquenses & That Is How I Raiseid My 3 Children 23/23/22 Years Old

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      • Cath – It is not necessary to leave a rude response. I don’t understand why people think it is OK to leave messages online to tear people down. Would you say that in person? If yes, would you also say that in person in front of hundreds of people? (Which is what the Internet is.)

        Liked by 2 people

      • This oat is about doing something positive to potentially help save lives. Your comment is therefore misplaced and discompassionate. This individual may have a few wrong spellings, but a heart of gold. I know which is more important!

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      • Cath – as I was reading this article and the comments after, I was thinking to myself, how could I get this to work with my twin teenage sons. They have difficulty spelling, through no fault of their own or mine. They are ADHD and are dyslexic. They are very intelligent, their brain is just wired differently than most.

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      • So, Cath, I see you’re one of those people who only feels good about themselves when they tear others down. We all know someone like you. The root of your problem always boils down to selfishness. You needed something for yourself (which in this case must have been an ego boost for your top notch spelling) and you set out to get it no matter the cost to another person or their feelings. Work on yourself before opening your mouth to deliver insults to others.

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      • From the article you linked: “Through the power of social media I’ve met so many new people and it’s a great support. It shouldn’t be your only point of help but it’s that jumping off point to help you realise you are not alone. ” In your criticism of the other responder, you are alone, however. And the article linked doesn’t address the issues central to your critical comment. Does your remark have the potential to help or hurt the mental health of the other? So what if the comment strays from the very specific topic? You didn’t address that initially, instead you bullied someone who did not write a response in perfect English. You know, you can just scroll past and move on with your day. Everything doesn’t have to be “a cause.”

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      • Shame on you Cath! You don’t make fun of someone whose spelling/grammar isn’t just so! Especially when it’s a subject of this nature!

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    • The comment doesn’t even make sense. How it’s even relevant to the article is beyond me, which in fact Pauline, makes this comment unnecessary.

      I, for one, believe comments like these are a big issue. Bragging on any blogs, social media or public forums causes people to believe that their lives are not good enough or their childhoods weren’t as good as others which leads to mental health issues. Studies have shown that these type of misconstrued portrayal of people’s lives put pressure on young people and it’s not needed.

      Yes to all Mary. Any further questions?

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      • Hmmm, that’s multiple people that think that your comment was rude and unnecessary, and only one (you) that disagrees . . . another thing I’ve noticed is that the only person you criticized at all was the one with misspellings, and you didn’t bother to mention “bragging” until you decided to defend yourself. When there are THAT many people who think you’re being unnecessarily rude, you might want to consider the idea.

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      • A weak defense.

        There are a variety of ailments, both physiological and otherwise, which could cause this person you’re criticizing to experience difficulties with spelling and usage of the written language to express their thoughts. You, basically, are being a bully and making fun of them.

        That makes you appear to be a shitty person.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ok, Cath, whatever. If that is your reasoning, why didn’t you say so in your first reply instead of making a nasty comment about spelling?

        There are lots of commenters here praising how their parents raised them. We look forward to you making your enlightened argument to each one of them too. LOL

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you all for proving a point. All of you have diagnosed someone with with dyslexia or learning difficulties which is far more damaging to mental health than the initial comment. For all any of us know she may choose to write this way, is uneducated or has a problem with her phone.

      I apologise for using your post Rose but I am currently conducting research on the effects of social media on mental health for my dissertation and would love your views on how this has affected you .

      By stating that Rose, who none of us know, is dyslexic or has learning difficulties is, as i am trying to prove, far more hurtful and offensive than the original comment no matter what the intentions of the commentor.

      Another issue with social media is the herd mentality which you all have had no problem evidencing. The issue with herd mentality is more often than not they cause the opposite effect of what they were trying to achieve.

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      • For those who have decided to comment in a way of defense, whether you identifies Rose as having learning difficulties or not, can I please ask you to answer the following. It will really help my studies:

        1. Why did you feel the need to comment?
        2. What, if anything, were you trying to achieve by commenting?
        3. Did you consider the person (Rose) before commenting or did you just react to my comments?
        4. If applicable, why did you view this as bullying?
        5. If applicable, why were you rude back or become offensive?
        6. Do you know Rose?

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      • Good luck on your “dissertation”, Cath. I myself am a renowned cardiac surgeon — I just took a quick break from the heart transplant I am in the middle of performing so I could reply to your comment. You know how it is..

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      • If this is so Cath, then you need to revisit ethics and morality in research. As someone with extensive experience in higher education, there is nothing here that you can feasibly use for your research due to the ethics involved.

        Whatever the reason behind the original poster’s grammar/spelling, your comment was spiteful and judgemental, and instigated the responses from other people. This also affects your research results and makes them null and void.

        I suggest that rather than making disgusting comments to other people that could potentially harm their mental health as you have since chosen to clarify, you learn to be polite and non-judgemental in your approach.

        Anyone else who reads this, I would suggest not replying to Cath with your responses, as the ‘research’ is so flawed in so many ways, it is likely non-existent and she has just written that as an excuse.

        Liked by 2 people

      • So, since we are part of your experiment, I’m pretty sure we have to first agree to be a part of a research experiment, and you need an IRB approval to do research on human subjects. Might we see copies of the comsent form and of your IRB approval?

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      • I’m happy to discuss processes Claire however please do not discourage others from commenting when in fact you are unaware of what processes I have used.

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      • Cath, exactly what does your attack or response have to do with this article in any way except to provide your target with a need to send an X text? Bullying is never acceptable. Then you respond by suggesting that you are a student of psychology or something and that your rudeness is justified? There must be some huge pain inside of you, so much anger. That is so sad. Maybe you could see someone about that, Carma is real and sometimes angry hurtful people end up experiencing some very hard things. I know that when
        I have judged, I end up experiencing things that show me the reality of other people’s situations and that can be pretty unpleasant. We all have our paths, best not to strike out. I hope you’ll reconsider and choose love.
        Peace to you on your journey.

        Liked by 1 person

      • MMC. I am from the UK. An IRB isn’t used, nor is permission needed when you have commented on a post made by me on a social forum

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      • I guess I will be the one to point out that no one was diagnosing here, but rather stating reasons someone might misspell words….which, ironically, Cath then also did herself. Which is obviously very different than making a diagnosis.

        And the reasoning for selecting this person for insult in the first place (for agreeing with the article and then sharing a success) is also twisted logic.

        I suspect that we are either dealing with a troll, or with someone who attempts to twist people’s statements in order to incite arguments (saying you have a family member with an issue means you are also diagnosing someone else; sharing a success story with other means that you are bragging, etc).

        Even if this were a part of some sort of research — official or otherwise — I would choose not to be a part of it. (But I think troll is more likely.)

        X

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hello Cath,

        Since you are doing research on human subjects and comments made on a public forum, before agreeing to your research, I would like to see your IRB approval that is required to show to all subject. As a higher education professional who has done research on human subjects and gone through the IRB approval process I know this is a critical step for any data collection to be considered valid. Please provide a copy of this for me so that I can answer your research questions for your dissertation.

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      • I saw your response to MMC about doing research in the U.K. and not needing approval through the IRB which makes sense, but there are several review boards in the U.K. and through various universities located in the U.K. that have an approval process, particularly if you are writing a dissertation (which is through a university program). What review process did you go through at your university to have your data collection and methodology approved because even universities in the U.K. require an approval process for human subject research (and approval for dissertation research does too). Could you provide a copy of this approval process for data collection, etc that you received when you proposed your dissertation research

        Liked by 1 person

      • Successful failures. Happy to do so if you provide an email address. As I’m sure you appreciate the methodology is far to big to include on here. I can also include what legal processes we have to follow but in the UK this is not around the consent but around the anonymity (which I could not identify anyone on this post) and the storage of data. The US has different requirements as I’m sure do the majority of other countries

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      • 1. Why did you feel the need to comment?
        I felt the need to comment because your original comment was rude and hurtful, and when you were called on that, you basically doubled down and made things worse. Bad behavior needs to be called out, whether or not that has any effect.
        2. What, if anything, were you trying to achieve by commenting?
        Simply to get you to consider other perspectives, and whether that kind of behavior is really acceptable.
        3. Did you consider the person (Rose) before commenting or did you just react to my comments?
        I considered her feelings – everyone I know has been bullied at some point, over something just as silly.
        4. If applicable, why did you view this as bullying?
        Because it is . . . your comment had nothing to do with the content of her comment, it was only critical of the irrelevant spelling issue. It was a personal attack, over something she may or may not have control over.
        5. If applicable, why were you rude back or become offensive?
        N/A – getting rude back defeats the purpose of calling someone out for being rude, and personal attacks simply shut them down and keep them from listening at all.
        6. Do you know Rose?
        Nope.

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      • Cath, this is nonsense. It is, to begin with, grossly unethical to harm a person without their informed consent in the name of research, and this remains true whether you are in the UK or US. Your use of Rose (and, apparently, others around the internet?) in this fashion is highly questionable and frankly cruel, and it’s hard to imagine this methodology being accepted or encouraged anywhere.

        It’s also bad data collection on its face. You’re not observing organic discussion, but leading it, and your assessment of results is wildly incorrect: there are 16 responses about and fully three quarters of them make no mention of learning disabilities at all and rather focus on your behavior. The remaining quarter don’t appear to diagnose anything specifically but instead talk use open language (“may,” “might”) or speak to their own experiences.

        There is also, frankly, extant data and opinion on the stigmatizing impact of armchair diagnosis and related behavior. It’s a real issue and can generate significant harm. But your thesis here appears to rest not just on determining whether that harm is more significant that the direct harm of cruelty, but on *perpetuating that stigmatization* in your methodology and defense. That’s really concerning, and I wish that you would reconsider.

        And to anyone else reading this, I do specifically and strongly encourage you not to respond. This is cruelty in the name of questionable research, and it’s Cath’s faculty supervisors who ought to be questioned, not anyone here.

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      • My 14 year old has self confidence issues and has no social life unless she comes to events with us. She has experienced bullying to the extent where we had to get the police involved and doesn’t use Facebook or twitter. She loves going on blog comments where she can comment with out anyone knowing who she is. Unfortunately she has experienced this positive discrimination first hand on several occasions and has knocked her confidence further. The people who have commented may not have directly called the lady dyslexic or have a low IQ but have insinuated it which will cause just as much anxiety and knock her confidence. I am glad this is being researched and would love to see your findings. It is funny how all these people who want to give advice on how you do your dissertation felt the need to comment, which is what first annoyed the majority of commentor. Personally I think they are just trying to show everyone how intelligent they are when they have no idea how you are researching this. Not considering the fact your data extraction is based on social interactions and you could be Rose. Thanks for doing this Catherine. Good luck with it, I know you will do well!

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      • Hahaha Hilarious read more of the comments. Why would telling someone off on a forum make them change there mind????? You all think far 2 much about yourselves!!!! As if telling someone you don’t know off for making a nasty comment has made them think oh my God that was nasty I will just pretend I was doing something else. Get over yourselves

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  6. Yes, I am blessed for having a relationship where my kids can tell me anything, but I am not their friend, I am a parent and give them my opinion like one. Nevertheless , if they send our out code I will pick them up any time, anywhere , no questions asked. Until the next morning , when I am sure they have good reasons for where they were or whit who. They know my love is unconditional and I will give them my opinion based just on that love. They are older and they can tKe it or leave it, but mostly they take it well. Raising good kids is a very hard and very focused job, but when they are teenagers you can see how well or not you did it as a parent. There’s exceptions. I am sure, of very difficult teenagers with very devoted parents. I think the right balance is to stay close to them and demand respect while you show them how much you love them everyday. I think this article is brilliant Because it gives the idea to parents who haven’t think yet of a solution, when their kid is uncomfortable or in danger, and still doesn’t want his/ her friends to know that she/ he is asking to be removed from the situation . Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have 0 children but my mother is a saint and did exactly what you did when growing up. she had to be my mother and father! So I respect your parenting skills Maria! God bless!

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  7. This is brilliant. My oldest is 12 so we are on the lookout for tips like this, praying we don’t have to learn these lessons the hard way. Bless you for offering such wisdom and a practical way to love our kids well.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I always told my kids they could use me or their father as an escape goat. If they were asked to do something or go somewhere they didn’t want to go or do, they knew they could always use us as their way out and save face with their friends. Luckily our kids were wise enough to lose any friend that continued to put pressure on them.

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  9. I think this is a great idea for kids who really can’t stand up to the pressure. We live in a small town and I simply told my kids to be themselves and whenever something feels off or wrong, they should speak up to their friends (or others) about it. My daughter (now 17) is considered a leader in her group of friends, and has been able to diffuse many questionable situations between friends and strangers alike, both at home and “out in the world”. We have a no questions asked pickup or bailout policy similar to “x plan”, only my kids just call and tell me that they are uncomfortable and they need a ride home for themselves and sometimes for other friends as well. My son is 15 and also has no problem being honest in this way. I am so proud of them, and due to this maturity, I think I will feel confident when they leave for college and are not in a position to call me for help. I am confident that this practice of being polite, but firm about their desire to leave or opt out of an activity has been great practice for the rest of their unsupervised lives. Embarrassment or being ostracized from a particular group, while annoying or sometimes even sad, will not compromise their character.

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  10. This is fantastic advice. My kids know that they can count on me to come get them no matter the circumstances. Luckily only one of my children is a dare devil so most of the phone calls or texts come from him 🙂

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  11. Only problem with this plan is it can’t be used more than once. Their friends will catch on very quick. I think we should teach our kids to stand up for themselves and leave the situation no matter how much they may get ridiculed. We are suppose to teach them how to become adults. In the real world there is no X plan.

    Like

      • There is always an x plan in life – always. I work in high-powered business; if you need to, you bring more people into a teleconference because you need backup on something. If needed, the CEOs have taken the brunt before to take heat off a project team (especially when someone at the client is being a complete ass). I have friends I could call in an emergency. What if something happened to one of us? We have a 3 year old son and no blood relatives closer than 7 hours drive – we have to have someone we can call. You hope you never have to use these contingency plans, but you have them. We have a will that designates custody, forms a trust, etc. (God forbid it should ever be needed). These are all adult versions of an x plan.

        I hope my son will feel strong in the face of peer pressure – I did – but I plan on always giving him a way out. Asking for that help but saving face is fine with me. These are kids. It is fine to say that they should stand up for themselves, but that is easier said than done, even for many adults…and especially, as mentioned above, when someone is being an ass and trying to manipulate you (plus, teenagers are scientifically proven to have lesser reasoning skills; they can get into trouble before they realize they’re going down that road; crying UNCLE is a good thing to do). I don’t want my hope that my son can handle something himself to be a belief that gets him, or a friend, hurt or killed. It is important to take off rose-colored glasses or dreamy expectations of what your young person can hopefully handle and give them a way to ask for help. What if they never ask for help when things get tough? Frankly, not knowing how or not feeling comfortable to ask for help puts up a wall between you…and then maybe they will become an adult who doesn’t know how to ask for help, which is also a disaster.

        Like

    • I think the strength to ‘just say no’ comes with experience and also coincides with how much a child has been allowed, and has practiced setting safe boundaries. To assume and expect everyone to have the strength to stand up to peers with only sheer brute resolve is what is placing so many individuals on the path to addiction. Sometimes helping someone escape a bad situation is enough to buy them some time and help them think and change their course before things get worse. I think that was the point of this article.
      I was the parent expecting steely determination, I have buried a child. Please reconsider.

      Like

    • When my son started driving, it was agreed that his phone was tagged to mine in Find my phone app. It helped once in an emergency when he was was hit by another car and had no clue what the street names were. Using that app got me to the scene in 5 min.

      Like

    • Wow, great questions. Maybe you can have something pre-arranged that he says he has to pull into a parking lot and call you about – for instance, he forgot to let you know that [he has soccer practice tomorrow, he forgot to take the dog out, he needs you to order new contact lenses for him) – and then you respond by telling him you need him to come home because of something – you need the car for something unexpected, or you need him to babysit, or to help you fix your computer, or you’re not feeling good and need him to come home right away since you like to wait up for him. You’ll need to plan ahead-of-time what to do about his passengers – they might not be willing to let him drive them to your house instead of wherever they were going.

      Like

  12. As far as my daughters’ friends knew, I was the meanest, most intrusive, most rigid, authorian, abusive parent to ever walk the face of the earth. Mommy dearest had nothing on me.

    In reality, my girls didn’t have a curfew – they told me when they were coming home. They went where they wanted and with whom they chose because we had an understanding that as long as they were honest and responsible – acted like an adult, they got the freedom of one. They never broke it.

    However, one of the reasons this worked, besides their trustworthiness, was because I didn’t need their friends to like me. I preferred the fear of me. They knew and utilized the, “God, my mom’s a bitch!” Clause we had. This clause was the blame it on me to get out of anything at any point – even if some of the rules of our agreement was broken clause. I would be as obnoxious or descreet as they wanted. And I would go anywhere to pick them up, if needed. I was their mom first and foremost and they knew I was going to back them up.

    I even got a text one time asking me to throw a fit on the phone so their friends could hear it. So, I did. We had the best laugh about it later and the running joke is that I would make te fiercest Disney villain of all time.

    It’s not a gaurantee. It’s just one more tool in the parenting toolbox.

    And for those struggling with addiction – you’re a good person. You are/were a good kid. You are loved and valued. You are forgiven anything you feel guilty about and are offered a sincere apology for all of the ways we have let you down or hurt you. You deserve to have good things and a healthy, happy life. Thank you for being you and sharing yourself with the world. Wishing you health, peace and happiness.

    Like

    • Me, too! I also teach high school and have lost count of the number of times I’ve heard my students (mostly seniors) day they’re glad they’re not MY kid! My oldest, now 23, once went to a party. I told him the other kids parents had to be there and if they weren’t he had to come home. He knew me: I certainly was not above showing up to check. About an hour after he left, he came back home. When I asked why, he said, “There weren’t any adults there.” I was very proud of him.

      I was and still am more than happy to be the bad guy. My kids can throw me under the bus anytime, and so can my students, if they need to do so. I could care less what any other kids think (or their parents, especially the idiots who buy booze for underage kid at parties…and that happens ALL the time, trust me. Those same kids tell me all about it!).

      Like

  13. My kids and I used the word “now”. If they texted me the word “now” I would immediately call them and tell them almost the exact same thing…something happened and I need to come get them now. My youngest actually used it twice and second time he texted “now now now” and with good reason. All parents should have something like this in place and kuddos to the kids who use it.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Growing up it was in the form of curfews, since we didn’t have cells. It was a rule that no one would state my curfew out loud to my date. That way while out, I could always say, ” oh man!! We gotta go, my curfew!!” And if he was in no shape, I’d find a ride.

    Like

  15. My mom actually did this for me, in a sense, by saying often, “you can tell me anything, if you say ‘mom, promise not to get mad, but..'” and made sure that I knew that I could call her anytime of day or night, from anywhere. I appreciated it, but there was a problem, and I think it has gone unaddressed in this conversation: I appreciated it, but I ignored it. I ignored it because I WANTED to do the things you think your kids will text you “X” over. I didn’t feel uncomfortable with drinking, drugs and sex, I was excited by it and wanted to get away with it. I never remember wanting a way out, and my teen years were not that long ago (I am a 30 year old female). I was a “good” kid in an upper class white neighborhood, and if my friends were uncomfortable or peer pressured, they sure didn’t look like it. They were the ones supplying the drugs/alcohol, and the boys… Well, they were not trying to “get out” of any situation with girls, I know that for a fact. I think what is missing here is an honest realization that there is a desire to do these things, in that they bring pleasure, even if only for a short time. Teenagers by nature think they are invincible, and can’t count the cost until much later, when the prefrontal cortex fully develops. I “knew” I wouldn’t get addicted, or date raped, or pregnant. I got addicted, and date raped twice. Parents, please take a step back and don’t idealize your children. They are children, with limited experience, incomplete judgement making ability, physiologically, and a desire to experience pleasure, as do all humans. Don’t assume that they will want to get out of any situation or that they will trust you, even when you use a plan that makes you trustworthy. It is only by God’s grace that I am alive and a wife and mother today- not to mention my husband, a cocaine addict for 6 years and an alcoholic for almost 20, now totally clean for 8 years. I don’t have any suggestions at the moment, but I beg you to consider the fact that an X plan isn’t going to keep your teenager from trying drugs, getting drunk or having sex, unless they are truly a conscientious, shy, sheltered little flower. Teenagers WANT to do all of those things, and I am amazed that we have forgotten that about our own lives. Surely I am not the only one?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m sorry about the date rape situations. That’s so sad and I hope you don’t blame yourself. The only person to blame is the rapist. I hope you know that. And, wanting pleasure and to escape from our lives is the human condition.

      Like

      • Yikes I didn’t mean to post my surname. Auto-fill did that and I didn’t catch it. Can you delete this comment, o moderator? Thank you

        Like

    • I have to respectfully disagree. I have four kiddos and all four are very strong in their convictions about not drinking, doing drugs or having sex. Their ages are 24, 21, 20 and 12. They are all very verbal when pushed by peer pressure. They’re not afraid to say No Thanks and stick to it. My oldest did get date raped at 17 and I wish to God above we had had a plan like this. She didn’t drink or do drugs and never wanted to. She is married now. My second oldest has also never had a drink or drug and advocates for that. She is getting married in May and is still a virgin. Neither of these girls are shy wallflowers. Student body president, in sports, musicals, etc. My son was beaten to a pulp by his college lacrosse team because he refused to drink and do drugs with the team. He stood his ground and it wasn’t popular. I don’t think kids have to be shy wallflowers to say ‘No’ and not want to get caught up in the trappings of the world. I always gave it to them straight. I lived a messed up childhood and it is only by the grace of God that I’m alive today. I gave them real life scenarios and ways to get out of them. We actually role played so they would find their voice and what they wanted to say before it happened. The only time that didn’t work was when my oldest was overpowered and raped. I wish she had been able to text myself and her Dad an ‘X’ but she didn’t even have a cell phone then. I think it is important to both have a plans AND a voice. We raised them to know who they are in Christ and to stand strong and firm in that realization. I’m so thankful they ran with that and have had strong convictions and the mindset that they are worthy and cannot be pushed around. ❤

      Like

    • I have 4 adult children that can prove your theory wrong. Not ALL teenagers WANT to misbehave. I “rescued” them from many uncomfortable situations where THEY decided it was a bad situation. Most of the time they just avoided it themselves. I think in most cases it’s how they are raised from the time they are born. The biggest factor…..where is God in their lives? The stronger His presence, the stronger their conviction.

      Like

      • LOL! Amy, I hate to break it to you, but some of the “godliest” kids in the school where i teach are the biggest partiers! They go to church weekly, and their parents are convinced their little angels are pure as the driven snow…most are oblivious to the reality. Most have no problem with this dichotomy. And there are kids who don’t go to church who don’t party. Bring religious has little to do with what kids are actually doing, contrary to what most people think. Correlation, not causation.

        Like

    • I agree. While many kids may want a way out, there are just as many who love the thrill of it all. I used to be one of them. I was a “good girl” in most peoples eyes, made straight A’s, was student council leadership every year – yet I loved partying (drinking, getting high), having sex (oh, the thrill of seduction), meeting rock stars (fake ID, bold & fearless). I felt like I was really LIVING life fully. I look back now and can’t believe how much I got away with.

      It is nothing short of a miracle that I survived relatively unscathed. As a mom of 2 teens now, my biggest challenge is to try and prevent my kids from going too far like I did. They may not be as fortunate.

      Like

    • You were not. I did much of the same things: drank, smoked weed, had sex, etc. I was an A/B student in all college prep/advanced classes. I regularly lied to my parents about where I was and what I was doing (pre-cell phone days). I even dated a very hot drug dealer for a while–free weed! I was nearly date raped twice, and drove drink many times. It’s a miracle I’m alive. Most of this was my first year of college, but I still lived at home.

      I now teach high school and am both amazed and dismayed at how much of this behavior happens at younger ages. My students (and I teach AP!) regularly talk about drinking, etc. They’re all high achieving, intelligent kids, and their parents are clueless. These same parents are convinced THEIR kids would never do such things. I’m the yearbook adviser,and they write these long tributes about how godly and upright their children are, and how proud they are of them for standing up for their beliefs…if they only knew. One of these “godly” boys gets a blow job from his girlfriend in the parking lot every morning!! Until you work with teens and listen to their unguarded conversations, you really have no idea. There are some who don’t do all this stuff, but fully half of them do…and most of their parents truly have no idea, and wouldn’t believe me if I told them.

      Like

  16. Find my iphone is a great way to track exactly where your kids are as long as you have there apple ID. It is so accurate it points within meters of their location 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  17. This is such an awesome thing to use as a way out .
    cause sometimes in a lot of cases your friends or friends of friends already know all the old tricks in the book because they have used them there self , so aleast using this way out it causes no drama or problems where you are or were then and the next time you my go there or ypur kids my go there

    Like

  18. I agree with Stephanie. I think this X-plan is probably more for younger teens and pre-teens. I think older teens are more interested in engaging in risky behavior and like it. I think many (most?) younger kids, maybe junior high age, are stressed out by it and are young enough to take adult warnings about risky behavior seriously. I think this plan is great, but best for younger kids. I think it might be ok for some older teens, but not most. I also don’t think older teens want to leave the action/party/where it’s at and go home, whereas a younger kid wouldn’t mind that.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Pingback: X-Plan: Giving your kids a way out (#xplan) – Life Happens

  20. What a wonderful post! I’m a grandmother now, of 10 grandchildren ages 20 years to 2 months. So, I raised my 3 daughters before cell phones, text messages and social media. But I never ever let one of them go out my door, for any reason, without making sure they knew I was ALWAYS willing to be THE BAD GUY. I always asked, “Is this a place you want to go?” “Are these people you want to be with?”” If you realize later that it’s a mistake, find a phone and call me. All you have to do is say ‘I might’ve been mistaken.'” They always knew they had a way out and I would tell anyone involved, from their friends to their friends’ parents, that I was coming to bring them home; and I’d have a plausible reason.

    It was possibly the best thing I ever did to help them stay safe. All 3 used “the call” on multiple occasions; some serious, some as simple as “I didn’t like the movies they were watching at the slumber party.”

    I just drove home from my youngest daughter’s house today and brought my 9 year old grandson with me to visit with friends. On the drive I told him how very much he is loved. (I know, Nana.) You can ALWAYS call or text me, no matter what or when. (I know, Nana.) If anything ever goes wrong or is uncomfortable or you feel bad or pressured or anything at all you let me know and I WILL BE THE BAD GUY and come get you … because I need to. You won’t ever have to find a reason to leave, I’ll answer all questions. (I know, Nana.)

    After all the chatting and the “I knows,” I asked him if he believed me. “Of course I do, Nana.” I said, “Really? Why?” He said, “Well gee, Nana, Mom ALWAYS tells me the same thing. That’s always how I get home if I don’t feel good at someone else’s house.”

    Thank you, God, for good lessons learned.

    Grateful Grandmother
    AKA: Nana

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Genius, absolutely genius!! Such a simple, yet elegant way of addressing a very real concern faced by most teens (hell, and quite a few adults too!). I work with a lot of teens and I’m going to implement this immediately 👍

    Like

  22. Ive suffered from anxiety my entire life, and I can see where this would come in handy for kids with anxiety too. I’m not comfortable might mean whats going on around me is inappropriate, but more often than not, i just wouldnt feel comfortable with the crowd, too loud or too many people.

    And I know, had I gotten into these situations, my mom would come. She would have questions, later, after she got me. She might get upset even, but she would protect me first, ask questions later. I’m 34, and she’s still like that. If I tell her I’m going to a bar with my friends, she always tells me, call if you need me, or if you need a ride. And don’t drive drunk, or get in a car with someone who is. Call if you’re uncomfortable with anything. I’ve called when the person I rode with was wasted. She came and got us both. My best friend (a recovering addict) has called her when he was offered his drug of choice while at the bar. I wasn’t with him, I’d have shut that down had I been. But he wasn’t comfortable with his ability to make it long enough to sober up without caving to the pressure, and didn’t want to call his mom as she was ill, so he called my mom. She got him, brought him home, fed him, told him he was spending the night so she knew he was safe, and not caving in and having his friends with drugs meet him. I think that was a turning point in his recovery, when he got really serious about it, and went from, just this once won’t hurt to not even this once.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. My parents and I had a code too! If I said Taylor (which was my dog’s name and my street name) I was asking them to tell me no. If I said Cinnamon (which was my cat’s name) I was telling them to come get me now. I used it only a handful of times but it got me out of some pretty sticky situations! And my friends were none the wiser because they thought I was just asking them if they wanted me to have our school pictures sent to Grandma’s address or ours and since my cat was sick I was just checking on her lol

    Like

    • Hiya, just a quick comment that you’re giving quite a lot of personal information within your post Caitlin (first name, surname and street name) I’d amend or ask for it to be deleted just as a precaution xx

      Like

  24. Pingback: X-Plan: Giving your kids a way out (#xplan) – Trendee Talk

  25. Just the other day my daughter text me and said the kids that she was with we’re doing things she wasn’t comfortable with, she text me what to do. I said “Say your Mom is really mean and is picking you up early.” I picked her up within 10 minutes, worked out great. I’m going to share the Xplan with all three of my teens. What a great idea!

    Lori

    Like

  26. I get the point, and it is a good point; however I believe this article really only deals with a small percentage of kids. Many children grow up seeing these addictive behaviors occur in their parents homes, watch it on television, or in my case; heard about if from school counselors whose intent was to deter me from ever trying it. Instead it sparked a world of curiosity that was only sated once I had been thee and done that for over a decade. It was not just addiction, it was a full on, in with both feet, yearning to experience all things existential, and I know I am not the only one. I too see it daily as I work with youth. While I agree; for those few kids subjected to peer pressure, this may offer a way out; however, I feel the vast majority of us were either in, or out. The most common correlation I have notice is parenting.

    Like

  27. This is a fantastic idea. I am going through such a rough time with my teens, simple things like this are such a brilliant idea. One of my teens is being manipulated by the local gang, finding a way out is so hard, but this might just work. Thanks you for sharing, am sharing far and wide. If ever you get chance have a look at my Mate Crime piece, things are moving forward for us, and we are eventually getting professional support, but it has been an extremely difficult time. Best wishes
    Matthew

    Like

  28. My 14 year old daughter has done this. Once I had worked night shift and was sleeping when I got a text just saying “mom” so I called her. Her dad was in town so I told her he’d be right there and called him to get her. Turns out, the girls she was with were going to smoke some pot and she didn’t want to. Another time, I got a text from one of her friends asking if she could do something. I had to go ask her what she had told the friend before I responded. She just said that I had said no, no reason, just making me out to be a bitch. So I went with that.

    Like

  29. We started with our plan early on, we figured why wait? This way if they were in 5th grade and at a sleepover and decided they were homesick or just uncomfortable they could call us, no matter what time. They are now 24 and 20, and I have gotten out at 2am, 4 am, you name it, and for various reasons. I’ve also shared this with my Nieces who are 28 and 25, and all of our kids friends and Nieces friends. In fact, a couple years ago, one of my Niece’s friends who was 26ish at the time, called me at 430 am and was a nervous wreck. She was at some people’s house where her friends had taken her, everyone had passed out and she had no way to get home. I picked her up, and she called her Dad who lived about 10 minutes away, he came and got her. As we’ve told the young people in our life “It doesn’t matter why or what time, if you want to talk about it, we’re here, if you don’t want to, we will not pressure you. There will be no lecture, just picking you up and getting you home. I had the same thing offered to me when I was growing up, however, there was lecture involved. And so I made sure that there would not be any discussion unless the one/ones being picked up chose to talk about it. I, too wish more parents would have a plan. There are countless scenarios that a plan could be extremely useful. I’m definitely sharing this on my FB timeline, and thank you for writing about a very important issue.

    Like

  30. I’ve always given my kids an out since they were young and they are now nearly all grown but will still use me as an out If they need it. My parents would have never done that for me and I promised myself I would never let my kids feel stuck in any situation so they know they can text me or call me and with just a key phrase or a certain way of asking a question get out of what they needed to example being (“hey mom so and so wants me to stay the night is it okay?” ) the answer was NO but if they phrased the question ( ” Hey mom can I stay the night at so and sos ) the answer was YES . We did this because some teens hover over the shoulder on phones often and they didn’t want to upset said friends or be embarrassed by not partaking in activities they were uncomfortable with! This has worked for my kids and I hope someone out there gets good use of it too!

    Like

  31. Great idea!
    We have something similar already in place. But, how does your child handle the “day after”? Explaining to his peers the reason for leaving? I feel personally your article would be even greater adding that in. 🙂
    We told our son, we wouldn’t use a lie to get him out of a situation and we would also help him handle the truth to his peers.

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  32. I have always given my kids an opportunity she threw me under the bus especially if they’re in the situation that they feel uncomfortable, our deal is they must tell us is soon as they get in the car for the reasoning. However I am not in agreement that you should allow your child to be 10 miles or so away from their original agreement this causing distress and potential for additional issues.

    Like

  33. Wait.. #X is already a movement… a successful movement. We don’t need another X movement making things confusing.
    And why don’t parents just teach their kids to be more vocal about their feelings? I have great parents and I was able to tell them when I was uncomfortable. This X thing just puts up walls between parents and children that cannot be talked about.

    Like

    • The letter X is irrelevant. I believe the point of the original post was to encourage families to have an out plan available. Children have a wide range of personalities, and some simply aren’t comfortable with conflict. At least not yet. They’re still developing after all. Sheesh enough with the naysayers speaking in absolutes and playing the percentage card. If one child is saved from harm though something like the X plan, was it not worth it?

      Like

    • I don’t think it’s putting walls. I think it’s building trust. I know I was always pretty confident to get myself out of something as a teenager because I had that annoying “I don’t give a crap what anyone thinks about me” attitude, but my little brother got himself in all sorts of trouble because he’s not like that. This seems like an out to use without hurting friends’ feelings.

      Like

  34. Yeah, as a teen I wanted to be drinking and partying at all. There were still moments when we were house hopping when I realized that the only way to get back to the house my parents had originally dropped me off at and where I was supposed to be staying the night was to get in a car being driven by the person who was “least high”. Being able to get picked up by parents, with out getting in trouble for being out in the first place, would have been a great option.

    This isn’t the only tool to keep your kids safe from addiction and risky behavior. It is just one meant to mitigate the risk.

    Like

  35. I work with teens. Do you have this in a brochure format? Something that explains and includes a contract for parents and teens to sign? If you do, I would like to get some. If you don’t, would you give me permission to develop one for my students?

    Like

  36. It is also very important not to judge our kids, and to let them talk.
    Parents talk more than they listen, and that is a big mistake.
    Teens use wear times to talk, specially when we are tired, but we need to make ourselves available.
    Learn to read your child, let them ask you questions, answer them in short sentences.

    Sometimes is good to return the question back to them, help them find the solution for themselves.
    “Teens ” need more of a friendly mom and dad, than a PARENTS with rules.
    Some kids say that they are NEVER GOOD ENOUGH FOR THEIR PARENTS, OUCH!!

    Always tell them the good you see in them and Do Not compair them to another person.
    We are all unique and wonderful made.

    Talk life into your children, lower your voices, have a good posture and dress well at all times.

    Let your kids be proud of the elegant, well taking care of a parent you are.

    You can not ask your kids to do something if you are not doing it yourself.

    Example:
    You should go to the teens group at your friends church, but you do not go to church.

    You should keep your room clean, but your car is a disaster.

    Thank you for this log.
    Maria

    Like

  37. Before the invention of cell phones when I was a pre-teen and teen, my mother and I had an “x” phrase. All I had to do was call home and ask how Grandpa was doing. My mother would come get me and no questions. I used it many times. When I got older I got into a situation where I wanted to leave, I called my mother to get me, no phrase and some kids started to get angry. I told them my mother cared for me and all she would do is pick me up and be on her way. I was never so happy when that’s exactly what happened. I used “x” phrases with my kids. No questions. They’ve all used it at least once. My parents set a great example of how to love us and give us the freedom to make difficult decisions while still keeping face and dignity with our friends.

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  38. Ah yes. The X-Plan. Something that’s existed since at least the 1970s and promoted heavily during the 1980s.

    I’m getting a little tired of people today, acting like they’ve invented this great idea, when it’s existed before they were even born. Sorry Bert, you’re old enough to know that you didn’t invent this and that you’re employing something that was pushed and promoted heavily over three decades ago.

    Like

    • Hmmm how could this have happened without cell phones in the 70s? Of course parents and children have come up with other similar codes, but I thought this was a well written article with one parent’s personal advice.

      Like

  39. This article just popped up on my Facebook but I really like it. I would often ask my mom ahead of time to help me get out of something but it was hard to do in the moment. Now at 21 living on my own, I’m forced to be honest and give a real answer why I don’t want to do something. I miss having a scapegoat, but I think my mom taught me well over the years. I think this is a great idea for young families to start.

    Like

  40. Very similar to what i have done with my kids since they were toddlers. It developed out of a ‘you can tell me anything’ deal. Any one of them can start a conversation, “you promise you won’t get mad?” That is my and my husband’s cue that they are about to tell us something. It gives us a second to take a breath and prepare to be calm. They then tell us whatever it is. The deal is they won’t get in trouble, but we might have a conversation. A CALM, RATIONAL conversation. No punishment also means no shaming or parental guilt. This trust allowed me to discuss with my daughter when she was thinking about losing her virginity. I got the chance to make sure she thought about all the angles and had all the information. I also got to know when she had puffed on a joint in middle school. THAT was a shocker. But it allowed me to provide her information she wasn’t aware of, like the potential that ‘just pot’ might be laced with something else. I also got to talk to her about the addiction in our family and remind her that smoking pot was as bad for her lungs as cigarettes. This information allowed her to come to the decision herself that it wasn’t something she wanted to do. At least not then, which was great. Towards the end of high school, she was thinking about taking molly with some friends, under the false information that there were tests for purity. She gave us enough time to gather articles that showed it was so unpredictable as to contents that even drug dealers won’t use it, and the tests were all but useless. She decided to pass, and armed with information she felt comfortable enough to feel fine about telling her friends she would pass. I always knew where she was and who she was with, because there was never any reason to lie. She’s in college now, but she still tells me about her life and her choices. My two youngest are now teenagers. I will most definitely be adding the xplan to the mix. Kids can be rational creatures, and if they feel respected they will respect you back. And by having these conversations, we modeled decision making, and showed them how to approach situations where they had doubt.

    Like

  41. I teach a class about drugs awareness and peer pressure. We talked about texted parents to remind them not to forget to buy (i.e.: broccoli) something the texter is known to hate and would never eat or try signaling the situation they are in is not appropriate giving the adult cause to call in 15 minutes to say they were picking them up. That way if anyone questioned who they texted or looked in there phone there would be in issue on there part. Obviously the signal is previously discussed. This age group was 5th grade. There was a lot of discussion about someone seeing what they had typed in there phone so this is how we came up with this scenario.

    Like

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