A US dad’s plan to help children out of bad situations has gone viral.
Father-of-three and youth minister Bert Fulks outlined his clever 'X-plan' in a recent blog post, which helps teens deal with peer pressure and risky situations.
"This simple but powerful tool is a lifeline that our kids are free to use at any time," Fulks wrote.
“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.”
“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 has come up and his parents want him home.
However, once Danny has been picked up, the next part of the plan is what parents might find difficult.
“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."
There is one exception, though.
“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."
The post has since been shared around the world, with many parents praising Fulks.
"Thanks for a great way to help my children and I gain each other's trust! It's a hard thing to do these days and when my young ones get to the age where dad will need to earn their trust, I can only hope my memory and your story will serve me right!" one parent wrote.
Another added: "Thank you for your very important lesson in life."
This article first published on Practical Parenting.