As any parent knows, you can’t totally safeguard your teenage kids from ending up in a difficult situation they can’t resolve on their own. So it’s really crucial for adults to be able to come to their aid as soon as possible.
Today Bright Side tells you about one helpful method of keeping your child out of harm’s way.
Here’s an example: Your teenage kid is hanging out with bad company. One day, they decide to try alcohol, or even drugs. Such a situation might well prove too unpredictable for your son or daughter to handle. Moreover, your child most likely won’t phone you for advice for fear of looking a coward in the eyes of his or her “friends.“ And even if you call your kid to ask whether everything’s all right, you’ll probably get a standard reply along the lines of ”Yeah, I’m absolutely fine!”
Bert Fulks, a pastor from West Virginia, has studied this teenage psychological trait in order to better communicate with his son, Danny. As a result, Fulks invented a kind of a secret code that allows his son to send his dad SOS signals without the risk of losing face with his peers.
Fulks got this brilliant idea after talking to teens in addiction clinics across the country. He asked each of those kids a simple question: “Have you ever found yourself in a situation 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?“
All teenagers admitted having experienced such moments on many occasions. So the pastor decided that something needed to be done to help kids (and, specifically, his own son) overcome the problem. Here’s how Fulks himself describes his invention:
”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.
— 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.”
That’s it. Danny is home, safe and sound. From his friends’ point of view, he didn’t run away but merely had to leave on important business.
This know-how not only protects your child from harm but also helps to build trust. The most important thing is to make kids realize that even if they get in trouble due to disobedience, their parents’ chief priority would be not to punish but to help!