This type of youth group, which exists to promote violence and illegal acts, was once limited to urban areas. But gangs have spread to the suburbs and small towns, too.
The best way to keep your teen away from gangs is to make it clear that if he needs support, he can turn to you. A top reason kids join gangs is to have a place where they feel they belong. These teens tend not to be from close, loving families.
Teens who are interested in their schoolwork usually don’t become gang members. Stressing the importance of education is useful for so many reasons. Keeping your child away from gangs is one of them.
Know where your child is and who he is with. “Going out,” should have a purpose—a trip to the mall, the movies or to a friend’s house. “Just cruising,” or hanging out on the street often leads to trouble. Teens who do this may not be seeking trouble. But it will find them if they accidentally intrude on a gang’s “turf.”
Keep in touch with other parents, too. Pledge to tell each other about the first hint of violence, or even vandalism.
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