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Parent explains how their child discreetly asked to be retrieved from an uncomfortable situation

A parent shared their kid's secret code to let them know about situations they need to get out of.

Parent explains how their child discreetly asked to be retrieved from an uncomfortable situation
Representative Cover Image Source: Pexels | Greta Hoffman, Reddit/jtboe79

Editor's note: This article was originally published on August 8, 2023. It has since been updated.

 In today's world, ensuring a child's safety can be a daunting task for any parent. As parents, it is natural to worry about your child's safety and protection. In such situations, it's crucial for children to communicate discreetly with their parents using secret signals to silently indicate danger.

Reddit user u/jtboe79 sparked widespread interest in the r/Parenting subreddit with a post detailing their clever method for safeguarding their child in social settings without attracting attention. The popular post, titled "My kid just texted me," features a hot-dog emoji and has amassed over 8,000 upvotes.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Ivan Samkov
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Ivan Samkov

In the post, the author writes about how the emoji is essentially "code" for when their child wants to return home without alerting their companions that they are uncomfortable. The parent explained how the signal works: "It’s code for I want to come home, but I want it to be your fault. Any random emoji when we're not texting each other will work." The post then details how the boy sent them a hot dog emoji after they had decided to go to sleep.

 After receiving the emoji, the parent phoned their son and, sticking to their agreed-upon plan, feigned anger about an undone chore to request his immediate return home. The call ends with the parent saying, "I'll be there in five minutes, have your stuff gathered up." They explained that they then went to pick up the boy and gently inquired why he felt the need to leave abruptly.

The boy explained that his friend’s grandfather made him uncomfortable, but unsure how to broach this with his friend, he chose to discreetly call his parent to leave without causing a fuss. The boy, however, did not disclose what exactly his friend's grandfather did that made him uncomfortable, only that he was acting strangely.

The author added that they would talk to their son about it the next day and expressed relief that the boy remembered their code language. They end the post by highlighting how parents could use something similar to communicate with their kids for emergencies and when they need to be escorted to safety. Such a code would especially be useful in scenarios where the child cannot talk openly, as doing so might cause a scene.

Image Source: Reddit/MommaG0614
Image Source: Reddit/MommaG0614
Image Source: Reddit/pizzalover2013
Image Source: Reddit/pizzalover2013

Many individuals who saw the post shared their own secret messaging tricks within their families. u/titorr115 commented, "Thank you for sharing. While I'm sorry that he was in an uncomfortable situation in the first place, I'm so glad that 1) You had a system in place beforehand and 2) He used his Spidey sense to tell him that it was time to get up out of that situation. Smart kid! My daughter is nine, and we've told her that if she ever feels uncomfortable, she can say that she isn't feeling well, and we will come to get her."

u/lsp2005 wrote, "I am so glad your child can rely on you. 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, do so before things go sideways. 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."

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