Every child should have a “code word” they can say to a parent or guardian to indicate they feel uncomfortable, need to go home, or need to be reassured. This should be a word the child can say out loud in front of friends or other adults without losing face or feeling embarrassed or scared. Some parents might use two words, one to mean things are okay and one to mean things are not okay. An example would be “Chicken” and “Fish.” When a parent calls and asks how the child is doing, the child can respond with “Chicken” to indicate things are okay, or “Fish” to indicate things are not going okay.

Source: Code Words, Children’s Home Society of South Dakota