Ways to Keep Your Child From Joining a Gang
- Develop open communication with your child. Ask open-ended questions and be willing to talk about difficult issues.
- Talk to your child about peer pressure and ways to avoid it.
- Spend quality time with your child every day.
- Spend time with your child doing things that they enjoy.
- Recognize and reward positive behavior in your child.
- Set rules and expectations and be consistent in enforcing them.
- Know your childís friends and their parents.
- Monitor your childís use of the internet. Keep the computer in the living room where you can see what they are doing.
- Expect your child to turn in the phone, computer and video games at a designated time each night. Know their passwords.
- Let your child know that if you have concerns about their safety, you will be checking their things (phone, room, backpack, social media accounts, etc).
- Participate in your childís education. Visit his/her school, meet the teacher, and talk to the counselor.
- Get your child involved in positive after-school activities like sports, drama, student government, volunteer work or encourage your child to get an after-school job.
- Give your child new and exciting opportunities beyond their everyday routine.
- Know the signs of gang involvement, observe changes in your child and talk to them about what you are noticing.
On Gangs and Gang Activity
- Monitor your childís exposure to violent movies, video games, music, etc.
- Learn about gang and drug activity in your community.
- Donít allow your child to hang out with gang members.
- Donít allow your child to dress in colors or styles that are used by local gangs. (You buy the clothes. You decide.)
- Donít permit your child to stay out late, or be unsupervised in the evenings or on weekends.
- Donít allow your child to write gang names, letters, numbers or other symbols.
- Donít allow your child to practice making gang signs with their hands.
- Cultivate respect for othersí property and pride in your community.
Parenting is difficult. If needed, ask for help from a trusted friend, take a parenting class or seek counseling. For specific questions about gang involvement, contact: email@example.com.
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