Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Secret code words

Posted by on Mar. 9, 2013 at 3:27 AM
  • 8 Replies

Do you and your children have a secret code word?

March 23, 2010 By 

Soldiers are taught secret codes so that if they are ever captured, they can let the military know that they are saying something against their will, if they’re forced to do a video tape. It may be how often they blink, or don’t blink, or which way their eyes move, or how they tap their fingers. That way anyone analyzing the video can get info without the captors knowing what’s really going on.

Not to be an alarmist, but it’s a good idea for our kids to have code words, too. If they’re ever in a situation where they have to tell us something’s wrong, without being able to say the words, you want those code words.

It could be something innocuous, like “sure do love ya”, which they would never normally say just that way, but which doesn’t sound like they’re asking for help. As my kids are getting to be teens, we’ve decided to implement this, so that if they’re ever at a party or a friend’s house, and they’re feeling uncomfortable and want to come home, they can let me know without having to say it out loud.

But you could also use it in more nefarious situations, like in the case of a real kidnapping.

You can also use code words to let kids know they’re safe. Christina Fielder had such a code word with her mom when she was little, based on Gary Gnu, their favourite fictional character.

We thought it was just silly until one day, our mom actually enforced it. My brother and I went to a local Catholic elementary school, where all the moms were prompt in picking their children up after the last bell rang. So, as time passed, and we were the only ones sitting on the school steps for what seemed like hours, a car pulled up. It was our mom’s PTA friend, who we did not know very well. She said she was there to pick us up because my mom had an emergency to take care of. My brother and I were hesitant, as we knew we weren’t supposed to get into a car with anyone unless our mom said it was OK. My brother and I profusely refused the ride, until she uttered the words, “Gary Gnu,” and with that, we hopped in.

She relates the story of a teen who was recently killed, who called her parents twice before her murder, but her parents didn’t pick up on anything in her voice. She was probably trying to figure out a way to signal them, but couldn’t.

So it’s important to have these code words with our kids. I know we don’t want to alarm them, but it’s just part of living in the modern world. And I think kids tend to feel more confident if they feel as if they have tools at their disposal.

Tonight, at dinner, why not talk about it? Make a game out of it, and role play it. Create a code word. You never know when it might prove awfully handy.

And if you want to be extra safe, you can now even get a small GPS device your child can take with him or her to school so that you always know where he or she is. Sometimes we have too much technology, but in this case, it sounds like it could be put to good use! Just don’t rely on technology. You still need that code word. But backup is never a bad idea!

What do you think? Do you have a secret code word with your kids?

by on Mar. 9, 2013 at 3:27 AM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-8):
by Gold Member on Mar. 9, 2013 at 3:32 AM


by Ruby Member on Mar. 9, 2013 at 3:35 AM
We don't but it's never a bad precaution
Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
by Anonymous 1 on Mar. 9, 2013 at 3:41 AM

My kids are adults now, but yes they had code words.  I remember their kindergarten teacher keeping a list of them in a locked draw, in case a kid forgot their code word if someone other than mom came to pick them up. 

by Anonymous 2 on Mar. 9, 2013 at 3:44 AM

I think it's a great idea. Now to find a way to teach my 2 and 3 year old. Or really start to talk about it so they can learn.

by Bronze Member on Mar. 9, 2013 at 4:16 AM

 Yep.  Mom and I started it when I was young and it was just the two of us.  I would stay home alone at 11-12 and she knew if I ever said our code word on the phone when she called home something was wrong (or other times of course too). 

My kids use the same code word I did.  Its simple to fit in to convo but not something that would be said at random.  We even do this on a different scale with them.  Like DD4 and DD7 both love to be tickled, but they don't really want you to stop when they say stop so they can use the code word for us to really stop.  It keeps it fresh in their heads too which is an added bonus.

by Platinum Member on Mar. 9, 2013 at 5:33 AM
Yes we do!
Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
by Anonymous 3 on Mar. 9, 2013 at 5:38 AM

My kiddos to young for this. But when he's older, definitely.

by River Song on Mar. 9, 2013 at 11:25 AM
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)