Help your children come up with a family safety word that is a code term that you, as a family, decide and use as a safety measure. This is a great and simple tool you can use and teach your children, to use to ensure they are safe and not in an uncomfortable or dangerous situation.
Every family is unique on how they use the family safety word. Establish family guidelines on how you use the family safety word. Some families use the word for their child as their child’s way of communicating if they are uncomfortable or in a threatening situation. For example, if child X is at a family gathering and someone related or non-related has made child X uncomfortable, then child X uses this word as a code word. This allows your child to feel they can communicate with their parents if they are in some type of uncomfortable situation.
This code word or phrase can make it much easier for a child to ask for help when they may be too embarrassed to provide more details at the time or feel they may get in trouble for being in their situation. When they use the agreed upon code phrase, you know your child can't tell you what's really wrong, but they need to be picked up right away. Reassure them that they you are always there to help.
Let your children know you trust their instincts and it is okay for them to trust their instincts as well. When a child uses a family safety word, the response is immediate, with no judgment or questions asked at that time, to remove the child from the situation.
Explain to your children why it is important to have a family safety word and how and when to use it. Create a family safety word or phrase that it’s easy to remember, and something that is not obvious. Keep it age-appropriate and avoid scary words or phrases. Change you family safety word once it is used.