Blogger and father of three Bert Fulks has a discreet way to get kids out of tough situations.
In a recent blog post, Fulks, who lives with his wife and three kids in West Virginia, introduced the “X-plan,” which serves as a “lifeline” for kids in uncomfortable scenarios.
Adolescence can be a crazy time for a variety of reasons. Maybe there’s some peer pressure going on, or you wind up at a party that you don’t want to be at. When you’re a teenager, this is definitely the point in your life where you’re figuring out what kind of person you are and who you want to be, so we can’t expect everyone to get it right on the first try.
Although dealing with the crop of issues that pop up during high school is just a regular part of being a teenager, it can be hard for parents to deal with. While all parents have been through similar things, age and new experiences can cause memories to fade and dull out so your dad might not remember what it was like to do a handstand on a keg.
Luckily for Danny Fulks, his parents are pretty understanding. The Fulks family has what is known as the ‘X-plan’, which was formed from the experiences of Bert Fulks growing up (Danny’s father). Bert knows how difficult peer pressure can be, especially when saying ‘no’ to something could give you a negative label for the duration of high school.
To get around this problem, Bert told Danny that if he was ever caught in a situation he didn’t want to be in, he could simply text ‘X’ and a family member would be on their way to get him within five minutes. A text message would look something like the photo below.
Once the X is sent, a call is made to the sender in which a parent or an older sibling gives them an excuse to leave whatever situation they may be in. The excuse is typically some sort of fake emergency without getting too specific. Here’s an example of the typical conversation below.
Within five minutes of the phone call, Danny gets picked up (depending on his location). The X-Plan requires no questions and no embarrassment, for example, if Danny is somewhere other than where he said he’d be, his parents or siblings are not required to ask him about it. This is to establish a form of trust.
The X-Plan requires children to use their own judgment capabilities, which is an important part of the process as it encourages a child to think critically about what may be happening around them and their comfort zones. Many families have begun using this method, and have reported good results over on Bert’s Facebook page. The full explanation of the X-Plan can be found on Bert Fulks’ website.