Now I've Seen Everything
Now I've Seen Everything

15 Parents Who Figured Out Genius Ways to Make Sure Their Kids Are Safe and Sound

The safety of their kids is a clear priority for all parents. There are different options for codes that might well save your child’s life. For example, a kidnapped 16-year-old managed to show people in the streets signs she learned online to show she’s in trouble (tucking her thumb into her palm) and she was eventually saved.

We at Now I’ve Seen Everything gathered some stories of parents who found smart ways of making sure they can help their children if they get into trouble.

  • My dad was a bank manager, and one day he got worried about us being leveraged to get him to steal money. Since both my granddads were dead, we agreed on “Is Grandpa okay?” as a phrase to suggest we were trouble. A few months later, I decided to try it out. When he called from a bank, I dropped in a question about my granddad. “What do you mean?” He said. “He’s been dead for years.” The good news is that we never needed to use the phrase for real. © pilchard-friendly / Reddit
  • My parents always had a code word just in case something happened to them and they had to send someone we didn’t know to pick us up. My dad could never remember that the code word was ’birdbath’ so my mom told us it was okay to go with someone if they said birdbath, bird feeder, or birdcage. © DustyObsidian / Reddit
  • Teaching your kid a code to help them get out of potentially dangerous situations before they escalate is something many parents don’t teach often enough. I remember the code for my family was that if we called our parents and asked for pizza, it meant that we felt uncomfortable and needed to be picked up but we were not in imminent danger/in a situation that could escalate before we got there. If we called and asked for fish and chips, it meant that we needed someone to pick us up right away because something bad could potentially happen. Luckily no one’s really ever had to ask for fish and chips but there were plenty of times where we had to ask for pizza. © Solgatiger / Reddit
  • We have a “code text” for our 13-year-old. It’s simply, “I left something upstairs, can you find it for me?” We don’t even have a 2-story house. So I know and my son knows that if he sends me this while out, I will immediately come and get him. This was something that has helped me, especially with my anxiety, navigate the teenage years. © joyluster / Reddit
  • Ours involved a cat because we don’t have a cat. Or simply “Marshmallow” or working marshmallow into a random sentence like “Don’t forget to pick up the marshmallows when you go to the store, mom!” Close friends would know we don’t have a cat if they saw the text. She could text “Did you find the cat?” This is how I explained to her also that it’s important that I know where she is. So if she’s in trouble and sends a coded text, I can come to get her. © CaRiSsA504 / Reddit
  • My younger sister (22) and I (28) use “velvet.” She says that the first time she ever truly noticed a guy being creepy and, in general, felt very unsafe, he was wearing a velvet tracksuit. She knows that all she has to do is send “velvet” and I’ll find her location and get there if I can’t get her to pick up. She goes to college so we both share our location in 2 different ways with each other. She trusts me because she knows our mother will use it to track her unnecessarily and she doesn’t want that, she wants “freedom, but with safety features.” © themediumchunk / Reddit
  • My daughter is nearly 8. She likes playing a simpler version of D and D. Her character name is her real name backward. She went to a friend’s house and was supposed to be staying over, but later she didn’t feel comfortable. She would usually ring me before bed to say goodnight. She asked how the character’s name was (friends mum had her on speaker) I said it wasn’t looking good and if she wanted to come home to say goodbye she could. She did and she’ll occasionally ask when playing outside if we can go check on the character. © MamaBear8414 / Reddit
  • I have told mine that I am always willing to be the bad guy for them. If they need to blame me to get out of a situation before things go sideways, it’s fine. It is really important to learn to listen and trust your gut. My kids’ best friends also know they can blame me and I will pick them up as well. One of them used it and I got them. Their parents were very thankful. © lsp2005 / Reddit
  • I used this to call my mom and husband at 27 years old. I was out with friends and my car was at a bar 15 miles away. I was getting uncomfortable with an old boyfriend’s comments and advances. Noped right out, felt a little childish, but have never regretted waking them up at 1 a.m. to save me. © alliebogege / Reddit

Did you have a code or signal with your parents in case you didn’t feel comfortable somewhere? What was it?

Preview photo credit pilchard-friendly / Reddit
Now I've Seen Everything/People/15 Parents Who Figured Out Genius Ways to Make Sure Their Kids Are Safe and Sound
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