Penalty-Free Ride Home

This is something my wife and I instituted at the beginning of junior high and extended all the way through high school graduation.  If the kids ever found themselves in an uncomfortable situation that they wanted to get out of, they could call home and we would come get them with no questions asked.

We told them we could park a few blocks away, if needed, to be discreet.  Basically, whatever it took to make them comfortable exercising this offer if in a bad situation.  We made it clear that we wouldn’t interrogate them into telling us the reason for the call, if they would rather us not know.  The important thing was that they know this safety net was there.

Be careful with this offer unless you are genuine.  Think about some of the possible situations that could trigger the call.  Will you be able to resist the temptation to interrogate?  I guess if you show up and your child has been physically harmed, that should be an exception.  And perhaps that exception could be messaged to your child as this tool is explained to them.  But my wife and I decided that the most important thing was to make the safety net available.

This offer works well in conjunction with our “what’s the worst thing that can happen” mantra (see related post).  See my other blog posts on parenting here.

Author: Gordon Daugherty

Gordon Daugherty is a best-selling author, seasoned business executive, entrepreneur, startup advisor and investor. He has made more than 200 investments in early-stage companies and has been involved with raising more than $80 million in growth and venture capital. From his 28-year career in high tech, Gordon has both an IPO and a $200-million acquisition exit under his belt. Now, as co-founder and president of Austin’s Capital Factory and as author of the book “Startup Success”, Gordon spends 100 percent of his time educating, advising, and investing in startups.

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