Shelia Wray Gregoire asked the question, “Do you have a secret code word?” If you are responsible for a child, tween, or a teenager, or if you are concerned about your adult child(ren) this is a good practice to follow. The word does not have to be complicated just something that you and the child(ren) can remember and no one else can figure out, such as Christina Fielder and her mother’s code word Gary Gnu their favorite fictional character. Christina refers to a period in her life when her mother sent another adult to pick them up, but because they knew not to get in the car with anyone (unless their mother told them beforehand). She and her siblings were hesitant and refused to get into the vehicle until the adult spoke the code word.
The goal of this article is to prepare you and your child(ren). Hopefully you will not need to use a code word, however if it is used just once it will be worth it. A “what if” example is the story relayed about the teen who spoke to her parents twice before she was killed and they were unaware that she was in trouble. I believe if the family had a code word this tragedy may not have transpired. This article is a great reminder to be vigilant in protecting our child(ren), and teaching them something as simple as a code word can help prevent a lot of pain.