As parents, we do everything we can to try and protect our kids. It starts with baby-proofing the home, and then knee pads and helmets when they start riding their bikes,
but we can’t always be there. Eventually, they grow up and we can’t monitor them and hover. We just hope that they listen when we teach them right from wrong and trust them to find their way. But our kids still need us, no matter how old. Well Bert Fulks found a way for his kids to let him know they need him, no questions asked.
Bert Fulks, a father from West Virginia, received a text message from his son in the middle of the night. The message was a solitary ‘X’, and Bert immediately jumped out of bed, called his son and told him he would be pick him up in five minutes.
This is what Bert describes as the ‘X plan’; it is a way for teenagers to get out of uneasy situations while still being discreet. Bert, who is a pastor, came up with the idea speaking to a group of teens in an addiction clinic.
The father of three decided to use that information to create a plan for his own teens to get out of any situation they feel uncomfortable in.
He wrote about the plan on his website:
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:
“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.”
At that point, Danny tells his friends that something’s happened at home, someone is coming to get him, and he has to leave.
The idea is that his son has an easy way out of a pressuring or uncomfortable situation without opening himself to ridicule from his friends. Not only that, but the children also aren’t forced to tell their parents exactly what happened if they’re afraid of getting in trouble.
Fulks hopes other parents will adopt his idea in their own homes, according to People magazine. Already, his blog post has gone viral and has garnered more than 600 comments in two weeks from parents commending Fulks on his X-Plan.
“I love this. I have two young boys and hope they never need to use it, but knowing they have this escape mechanism is very reassuring,” said one parent.
Fulks says he has been overwhelmed by the positive response to his post and he hopes it will stem meaningful conversations between parents and children in the future.
“The most incredible thing for me personally is I’ve heard from so many parents all over the world, who as a result, have started having conversations with their kids. To play a tiny part in that, I’m just truly humbled.”