Being a teenager is hard but dealing with peer pressure is harder. This is where code words can be helpful.
Two summers ago my son got into mischief with some friends. Even though he knew it was wrong, he got carried away with his friends and didn’t know how to say no. He regrets what he did and has learnt his lesson, but it also created some interesting conversations between us.
Peer pressure is hard to deal with. Teenagers don’t know how to say no and don’t want to lose face with their friends. This can lead to them getting into situations and not knowing how to get out of it. Especially if they don’t want to get into even more trouble from their parents for getting into the situation or being where they’re not supposed to be.
This has meant that I have come up with two code words that my teens can use if they find themselves in a situation they want out of. It’s kinda like a “get out of jail free” card as I won’t ask questions but they’re free to talk to me if they want to. It also makes mum and dad the bad guy for making them go home!
The first code word is for when they’re out with their friends. If they text me X (which could look like a kiss if someone was to look on their phone) it’s a message to me to phone them and tell them I need them to come home straight away and if they need me to I’ll come pick them up, no questions asked. My son has used this on quite a few occasions when his anxiety gets the better of him.
The other code word is “Mother”. This one is to be used if friends want them to do something and they need permission. If their friends want them to go to the park and they don’t want to or they’re not in the mood they can ask “Please mother!” The mother then tells me that they want me to tell them no and then I’m the bad guy for not letting them instead of them doing something they don’t want to do.
Do you have any code words you use in your family? Do you think they’re a good idea?