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
  • Excitement
  • Status
  • Profit
  • Protection
  • Intimidation
  • Lack of life goals
  • Sense of power