How your kids can use safe words

How your kids can use safe words by WTDWTKKeeping your kids safe is a priority for every parent and with the recent spate of sexual assaults and inappropriate actions, primarily against young women; it has become a popular issue.   It’s important that we teach our kids to avoid being in a bad situation but sometimes it’s unavoidable and that’s when the use of “safe words” can help protect them.

Commonly known as a way to communicate to their partner that they are not comfortable with what is happening during an intimate moment, safe words can be used to let people know that they are in a situation that they need help with but do not make it obvious to the people they are with at that time.  Safe words can be communicated by text, email or by telephone.

A few examples of when safe words can be used are:

  • Where a girl feels uncomfortable with a situation she is in such as on a date
  • When a babysitter realizes that the parent who was to drive her home is intoxicated
  • When a kid finds themselves in a potentially violent situation.

Using their cell phone to make a call and saying that they want to be picked up right away could possibly make the other person upset and make the situation even worse.   Texting a direct message asking to be picked up can be viewed by another person and make the situation worse as well. 

Safe words can be in the form of a sentence that the person would not normally ask such as “did you get my blue dress from the dry cleaners” or “did you pick up my library books?”  This type of sentence works as long as the girl doesn’t actually have a blue dress at the dry cleaners or that she actually doesn’t use the library.

If a parent calls and asks if everything is okay, the kid can answer “yes, everything is ok.  By the way, did you remember to get my blue dress from the dry cleaners?”  This lets the parents know that they need to be picked up right away but without alarming the people around them.  The same response can be used in a text. 

It’s important however that the person receiving the message understands and that must be established and understood before it is used.  If not, the person receiving it will have no idea what is going on.

Both adults and kids may feel that this is unimportant and unnecessary because they think that when a situation arises, they’ll be fine and will be able to do the right thing.  Of course, that’s what they said about smoke detectors many years ago as well. 

Some teens may refuse this type of arrangement with their parents and therefore should be encouraged to do this with a close friend, roommate or partner.  The important thing is to have a way to communicate with someone you can trust to help you either directly or to send the authorities to help.

There are also many apps available that use your smart phone’s GPS to track your location and the locations of family members.  Many teens will not like this and feel that their parents are spying on them but in most apps, the feature can be turned on and off.  This is ideal for when kids are going out with other people and even travelling.   Some apps can be hidden from the main screens so they can’t be seen when someone else picks up their smart phone. 

Chances are that your kids may not need to use it but if they find themselves in a situation, it’s reassuring to know that they have a chance to get out of it. 

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