[vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”THIS DAD’S STRATEGY COULD SAVE YOUR TEEN” font_container=”tag:h1|text_align:left” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]The teen years can have many parents pulling out their hair in frustration and worry.
While I’m not anywhere near that season of life with my children, I have had conversations with mums who do have teenagers and they’ve often said they miss the younger years because at least you would always know where your kids were. You could always put them in a cot or in their room and know that they would stay there.
Teens these days can come into contact with all sorts of situations that they aren’t prepared for.
And one parent has shared advice which has gone viral since being published. And for good reason.
The article offers wisdom on how to give teens a way out when they are faced with a sticky situation.
The post was written by Bert Fulks, a youth minister and educator at Empty Stone Ministry. Bert has three kids of his own and understands the peer pressure that puts kids in tough situations that could make or break their social standing. And for teens, their social standing means everything.
Bert spends an hour each week with teens struggling with addiction, so he has seen the after effects of what can happen when kids are put into a difficult situation.
On a recent session, the minister asked the kids, “How many of you have found yourself in situations 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?”
Every single kid in the session raised their hand. And this gave Bert an idea which he uses with his own kids and encourages parents around the world to use with their own.
Bert shared how he felt when he wished he had an escape from a not so great situation. “I still recall my first time drinking beer at a friend’s house in junior high school—I hated it, but I felt cornered. As an adult, that now seems silly, but it was my reality at the time. “Peer pressure” was a frivolous term for an often silent, but very real thing; and I certainly couldn’t call my parents and ask them to rescue me. I wasn’t supposed to be there in the first place.”
Bert created the “X-Plan” to give his kids a simple way out.
The way it works is, if his son is in a tough situation that he wants to get out of, he simply texts one of his parents the letter “X” and upon receiving it, his mum or dad calls him and tells him they need him to come home ASAP. This allows their son to bail out of the situation with an excuse that his parents need him – without losing social standing with his peers.
Bert explains that the X-Plan has to come with an agreement that there are no judgements or questions on what the situation was that their son needed to be ‘rescued’ from. This also means if they have to pick up their son from a place where he wasn’t supposed to be.
Bert writes, “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).”
“Trust goes both ways (can you tell I’m a dad?) and if we parents want our kids to rely on us, we need to give them a reason to. If we don’t, they’ll never take advantage of the X-Plan.”
The important part of the X-Plan is allowing parents to trust their kids and allows kids to trust their parents will be there for them in their most difficult moments.
Bert has requested his blog post be shared with other parents.
“I beg you to share this piece. If this somehow gives just one kid a way out of a bad situation, we can all feel privileged to have been a part of that.”
The full post can be read here.