Son Knows He Needs to Leave Party Before Things Go Bad. That’s When He Texts Dad Just One Letter

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Peer pressure: a term commonly used yet often underestimated when it comes to teens’ participation in activities such as using drugs and alcohol. Many of us have likely been pressured by peers in the past.

It can be difficult to remember just how strong peer pressure can be during the middle school and high school years. Many teens who smoke started because their friends were smoking or because of peer pressure.
While there are teens who actively seek opportunities to drink or do drugs, many wish they could say “no” and get out of the situation without appearing uncool. Bert Fulks works with teens in addiction recovery once a week for an hour, and he has a crucial tip for parents.

He learned a valuable piece of information when he asked teens one simple question: “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 teen now in recovery for serious addictions raised their hand.
While it was quite an eye-opener for Fulks, he reflected back on his teenage years and couldn’t say it was surprising. Fulks recalled drinking beer in junior high for the first time even though he hated it and was not interested.


FAMILY FIRST LIFE
Son Knows He Needs to Leave Party Before Things Go Bad. That’s When He Texts Dad Just One Letter
He learned a valuable piece of information…
BY CAROLYN MARIE
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Peer pressure: a term commonly used yet often underestimated when it comes to teens’ participation in activities such as using drugs and alcohol. Many of us have likely been pressured by peers in the past.

It can be difficult to remember just how strong peer pressure can be during the middle school and high school years. Many teens who smoke started because their friends were smoking or because of peer pressure.

While there are teens who actively seek opportunities to drink or do drugs, many wish they could say “no” and get out of the situation without appearing uncool. Bert Fulks works with teens in addiction recovery once a week for an hour, and he has a crucial tip for parents.

He learned a valuable piece of information when he asked teens one simple question: “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 teen now in recovery for serious addictions raised their hand.

While it was quite an eye-opener for Fulks, he reflected back on his teenage years and couldn’t say it was surprising. Fulks recalled drinking beer in junior high for the first time even though he hated it and was not interested.

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He wrote, “As a teen, forcing down alcohol seemed a whole lot easier than offering myself up for punishment, endless nagging and interrogation, and the potential end of freedom as I knew it.” It is difficult for teens to admit to their parents how or why they have found themselves in certain situations.

However, it can be even more difficult to call mom or dad in front of peers and ask to leave. Fulks came up with an incredible solution to this problem.

Fulks came up with “X-plan,” which follows a clear script. If Fulks’ son, Danny, finds himself in an uncomfortable situation, he can quickly text a family member the letter “X.”

Once the family member sees the “X” text, they know to call Danny a few minutes later. The following phone conversation then happens:

Danny knows to answer his phone and says, “Hello?” The family member says, “Danny, something’s come up and I have to come get you right now.“

Next, he would respond with “What happened?” and the family member replies, “I’ll tell you when I get there. Be ready to leave in five minutes. I’m on my way.”

Even if Danny’s friends heard the entire conversation, they would have no idea that it was Danny actually asking to get picked up. Fulks wrote, “This is one of the most loving things we’ve ever given him, and it offers him a sense of security and confidence in a world that tends to beat our young people into submission.”

Parents and teens alike have readily seen the value in the “X-plan,” but there is one rule that can be difficult for parents. Once the young person is picked up, it is up to him or her to decide how much they want to say about the situation from which they wanted to escape.

Of course, parents will likely want to know every detail, but part of the beauty of the “X-plan” is the young person knowing that using it won’t mean an interrogation once they are picked up. Fulks noted, “One caveat here is that Danny knows if someone is in danger, he has a moral obligation to speak up for their protection, no matter what it may cost him personally.”

What do you think of the “X-plan?” Please share this with family and friends who may find this idea helpful!

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