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3 Reasons Why Every Family Needs a Secret Code Word

For times when a stranger is knocking at the door while a child is home alone or a when a friendly man kindly offers to bring them home — or even when they’re amongst unpleasant company — a family code word is a clever and easy security measure that can save your child from many potentially dangerous situations. Moreover, it will teach them not to trust every approaching stranger and will help their parents to feel calm when letting them go out alone.

Bright Side wants to share these reasons for picking a family code word, especially for those dearest to you. After all, safety is a cheap and effective insurance policy!

Picking the right code word for your family

Choosing a special code word is a serious task. It has to be something easy to remember, say, and write. All in all, it should be something that all the family members will instantly recognize. It can be an object that everyone likes, a funny word, or even just a letter. A word that’s too complicated or way too common will not be remembered by a child as easily and unfortunately, won’t serve any purpose.

A popular blogger named Bert Fulks shared his easy code word idea with the world. He agreed with his 3 children that the code letter would be a simple “X”. They’d send “X” if they needed to be picked up urgently or they felt uncomfortable in various situations. It’s fast to type and it can even look like a typo. It lets kids’ plans or feelings be unrecognized.

Reason #1: approaching a stranger

Kids can use this family code word in various situations like, for example, when they’re getting picked up by a friend of the family or anyone else. As a parent, you can notify your friends about the code. When your child hears it, they will feel safe and know that it’s not dangerous to get into their car.

However, in such situations, children may recognize family friends and still believe them without any proof, and another unpleasant scenario might occur. A stranger could approach a child, pretending to be a family friend and say that their mom or dad asked them to bring the child home. If the stranger can’t provide the needed code word, the child will understand that it’s all a lie and they’ll try to escape.

Reason #2: home alone

Another scenario can happen to children who stay alone at home. Some strangers may try to trick them into opening the door by claiming they’re electricians, plumbers, or other service workers. Trusting kids will open the door and run into big problems. To avoid this, you can teach your kids to always ask for the code word first. If strangers don’t know it, the door shouldn’t be opened at any cost.

Reason #3: emergency situations

If for whatever unpleasant reason your children get separated from you, a family code word can save them. Hearing something loud and familiar will grab your attention way faster than just “Mom!” or “Help!” The faster you react, the faster your child will be saved.

But there’s no need to scare your children.

It’s important not to make your child feel scared or think that every situation with a stranger is surely dangerous. The most important thing to remember here is to raise their awareness and teach them to be cautious. A family password will help children to learn that they can alleviate fear and escape from a potentially dangerous situation.

If you had to choose a secret word, what would it be? Or maybe you already have one and have had to use it before. Let’s share our stories in the comment section!

Illustrated by Sergey Rashkovalov for Bright Side