How can I help my child say "no" to gangs?

Your child needs a balance between love and discipline.

  • A child often uses a gang to replace a sense of belonging not found in their family.
  • Spend time alone with your child. It doesn't matter what you do, as long as it helps you to get to know each other.
  • Listen to your child and ask for their opinions.
  • Help your child to talk with you without fear of punishment.
  • Do not talk "down" to your child.
  • Talk to your child about ways to deal with pressure from friends.
  • Set firm limits with your child. Let them know clearly what is expected of them and the consequences for acting otherwise.
  • Always know where your child is, who they are with, and enforce their curfew.
  • Support your child's involvement in extracurricular activities at school or other organized events.
  • Explain the dangers of gang affiliation to your child, including intimidation and retaliation against family members.
  • Discourage your child from hanging around with gang members.
  • Meet your child's friends. Find out who they are, what influence they have over your child, and how they spend their free time.
  • Support your child's goals and ideas, even if they differ from your own.
  • Make it clear that you love your child as he or she is.
  • Be a good role model.

Show All Answers

1. What is a gang?
2. Who belongs to gangs?
3. Why do young people join gangs?
4. How can I identify gang members?
5. How can I help my child say "no" to gangs?
6. What are the consequences of being in a gang?
7. What can I do if I suspect my child is part of a gang?
8. What can I do to help my child leave a gang?