As the parent of an 11-year-old it is time to start sharpening my skills for the teenage years. After all, it's been about 30 years since I was one.

Every Rockford Area Parent Needs to be Using the X-Plan

Things are so much different now. We live in a day and age where raising our kids to be kind, intelligent, and altruistic is not enough. Keeping them safe is a full-time job, and I don't know about you, but I already have two of those. The X-Plan is currently the talk of Facebook among many of my friends. I think it's a good idea, but I haven't entered into the teenage years with my daughter. I would love to know what you think about it, or if there is something similar that you implement with your kids. It really does take a village, even if that village is an online community.

The X-Plan was created by teacher and speaker Bert Fulks after speaking to a group of teenagers going through addiction recovery. During Bert's session with these young people he asked a 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?”

They all raised their hands. Every single one of them. That's where the X-Plan was born.

Here's how Bert says the X-Plan works in his home:

Let’s say that my youngest, Danny, gets dropped off at a party.  If anything about the situation makes him uncomfortable, all he has to do is text the letter “X” to any of us (his mother, me, his older brother or sister).  The one who receives the text has a very basic script to follow.  Within a few minutes, they call Danny’s phone.  When he answers, the conversation goes like this:


“Danny, something’s come up and I have to come get you right now.”

“What happened?”

“I’ll tell you when I get there.  Be ready to leave in five minutes.  I’m on my way.”

At that point, Danny tells his friends that something’s happened at home, someone is coming to get him, and he has to leave. Read more at

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