Bert Fulks’ blog post “X-Plan: Giving your kids a way out (#xplan)” explains how and why he came up with the code that is both simple and effective. Working with teens, Fulks quickly learned that when they were surrounded by peer pressure, they believed it was easier to stay put than find a way home.Imagine your son or daughter is offered their first drink and does not want to drink it but also does not want to seem uncool. Even if your teen would rather leave, it may be unlikely that they would call you to come pick them up.
Que the X-Plan! Giving your teen the option to simply text the letter “X” to you, a sibling or spouse allows your teen to communicate that they would like out of an uncomfortable situation without going into great detail. A parent or sibling is then encouraged to go pick up the teen and take them out of the pressure filled environment.
Fulk wrote, “This is one of the most loving things we’ve ever given our son, and it offers him a sense of security and confidence in a world that tends to beat our young people into submission.”
It’s a pretty smart idea, but there’s one more piece without which the X-Plan can’t function: “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 difficult thing for some parents; however, it will not only save them from unhealthy situations, it will also go a long way in building trust between you and your teen.