In a time when cellphones were the size of cantaloupes and reserved only for the wealthy, the only way to get in contact with your friends was through a dial-up internet connection where you logged onto MSN. And even before then, the only way of knowing where people were was based on the number of bikes strewn across the front lawn. But nowadays, with cell phones becoming increasingly smaller in chip size (but bigger in screen size) we can contact anyone anywhere at anytime.
But there are times when we need to call (I mean text) mom or dad to let them know what’s going on.
Here is a secret yet efficient code that a son used in a time of emergency to contact his dad.
Bert Fulks is not only a father but he is a minister as well. He deals with kids and teens for at least an hour every week where he holds talks and information sessions.
His program is not merely for motivational purposes, or the typical “stay away from drugs and alcohol” talk. It’s a program for teen drug addicts struggling or going through rehab.
When he asked a group of teens if they have ever been in a situation where they felt uncomfortable but had to stay due to social pressure, all of them raised their hands.
And that’s the case with all teens, whether it’s drugs, sex, or alcohol, there’s been times where we have done things, or stood by in a situation that we really didn’t want to be in.
But Bert understands, he says that peer pressure isn’t really coming from peers but it’s coming from a lack of an exit. He says that children and teens stay in uncomfortable situations simply because they have no one to call.
To teens, it’s much worse calling mom and dad for help to leave a party (that they probably shouldn’t have been at) than simply downing another shot.
And what’s worse is the incessant nagging, interrogations, and lack of privacy and freedom that is bound to happen when they call for assistance from a place they weren’t even supposed to be at in the first place.
So that’s when Bert devised the ‘X’ plan. (And he hopes that other families can implement this plan into their lifestyles as well.)
The ‘X’ plan is simple, yet effective and downright brilliant. Whenever his children are in need of help, all they need to do is text ‘X’ to mom or dad and they’ll be there.
What’s even more amazing is that there is still privacy. It is up to the child to decide whether or not they want to divulge the reason for wanting to leave. The ‘X’ is their lifeline to leaving any uncomfortable situation.
The conversation is simple, once the parent receives the ‘X’, they will call the child and tell them that something has come up. The child will then inform his friends that a family matter has come up and they need to return home.
That way they can maintain face within their social circle all the while placing themselves out of harm’s way.
Bert summarizes the plan by saying: ‘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).”
Bert says that the only way for the plan to work is if the parents honor their word.
This not only builds trust, but it enhances the relationship between child and parent. Bert says this can be the difference between sharing a laugh at the dinner table versus visiting your child at a recovery center.
This is an absolutely revolutionary technique. Instead of installing GPS trackers on your child’s phone or having them turn on their ‘location’ wherever they go, why not build a strong relationship that eases the parents’ minds?