Growing up I was considered a “latch-key kid” meaning I got off the school bus and stayed at home with my younger brother until our parents came home.
I would call my Mom at work and tell her we were home so she knew where we were. In fact, we had a special signal. I would call once and hang up. Then she would call me when she didn’t have anyone in her office. I know we were high tech, this was before caller ID. (Did I just share my age?)
We also set up a code word – in case I was ever in trouble and NEEDED her. I still remember our secret code. No, I’m not going to tell you what it was because I will still use it with her to this day.
She knows if I use this code–she is to call the police, the neighbors, and RUSH home. It was a serious code. No one but the closest family members knew it. (I’m not sure if we even told my brother.)
I only remember trying to use the code once. A friend and I were cold so we started a fire in the fireplace. However, we didn’t know about the damper–the vent that lets the smoke out. Smoke started filling the house. We knew there wasn’t a fire but we were a little scared, to say the least. Our neighbor saw the smoke and came over at once. He helped open all the windows. (We didn’t have 911. Yes, I’m telling my age.) I tried calling my Mom but she had already left work. This would have been a good time to use the code word.
I started thinking the other day, I need to have a secret code word with my children. Who knows when there is going to be an emergency?
It needs to have a certain criteria.
- The code should something we do not say in our normal conversations. (I.e. Black Hawk, Rembrandt, or even pickle juice.)
- The code should be secret. Only trusted family or friends should know it.
- The code should ONLY be used in emergencies.
The older my children get, the less they might need me. But, when they are first staying at home by themselves they should feel safe.
This is not to be used instead of 911. This is just for the parent and child to communicate “Something is wrong – I need you – NOW!”
Do you and your children have a distress signal? How do you use it?
Blessings to you! You are loved!