As our kids get older, it can be tough to watch them leave the house, knowing they will sometimes find themselves in uncomfortable situations. While they’re part of growing up, helping our kids navigate these experiences is a natural and oftentimes necessary way to make sure they’re safe. On Reddit, one parent shared a code that they use with their teen in case their child needs help and is feeling uncomfortable about letting anyone else know.

“It’s code for I want to come home, but I want it to be your fault,” they wrote. “Any random emoji when we’re not texting each other will work.”

Secret parenting codes
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“He was supposed to be staying the night with a friend, so I was concerned when I get this text after I’d already gone to bed. I called him and told him ‘you were supposed to unload the dishwasher before you left, and now you’ve lost your privilege of spending the night. I’ll be there in five minutes, have your stuff gathered up.”

Parents jumped in to say they also use codes or other methods, so their kids can get out of tricky situations without fear of any repercussions. The goal is to make it simple, easy to remember, and one that can alert a parent or caregiver that they need to take action immediately:

“Ours was saying things that didn’t make a lot of sense,” another wrote. “‘Don’t forget to feed Shelby.’ Shelby was our long-dead dog.”

“Ours was all in the wording,” one mom shared. “If my kid texted me ‘can I spend the night at Kristin‘s?’ it meant that she genuinely wanted to spend the night at Kristin‘s. If she texted me ‘Kristin wants me to spend the night,’ that [meant] she wanted me to say no. It was very subtle, but this way, if Kristin happened to grab my daughter’s phone, she could read the texts and not suspect [any]thing.”

The original poster said when their son got in the car, he said, “his friend’s grandpa was making him feel uncomfortable, but he didn’t know how to tell the friend he wanted to leave. Then he thanked me for getting him out of there.”

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