How do I know if my child is in a gang?
Parents should be the family detective
- Who are their friends?
- Why do they want to wear certain clothes?
- What is in the child’s room? (Look EVERYWHERE)
- What kind of music does the child listen to? What are the lyrics promoting?
- How does the child speak? Does it sound like gang slang?
- Does the child imitate gang members?
- Are there gang related drawings in school books, notebooks, etc.?
- Have access to and look through all social media, cell phones, etc.
How can I discourage my child from joining a gang?
- Show an active interest in your children’s lives
- Encourage good school grades
- Make sure they have goals
- Keep them busy by getting them involved in activities, sports, hobbies, recreation
- Know their friends and where they live
- Share family activities
- Give encouragement: praise and reward when right, discipline when wrong
- Spend time, give attention, and show your love for the child
- Trust should be earned, not automatic
- Teach and demonstrate values and morals
What are the reasons for joining a gang?
- Lack of attention
- Lack of love from family
- Family gang involvement
- Raised in gang area
- Lack of life goals
- Sense of power