If you are raising kids or working with them in some way, it is vital to make sure that they stay out of trouble. A good way to do this is to prevent them from giving into temptation to participate in gang activity. This piece will help you learn how to keep kids from joining a gang.
Teach your kids moral values and tell them why it is not a good idea to join a gang. It is important to tell them that it is wrong and illegal to physically attack others, get into fights, use weapons against others, mess with controlled substances, etc. I thank my parents and school officials for discussing these matters with me and teaching me right from wrong while informing me of the consequences I might suffer for my actions, helping to remove any temptation I might have had to go down the wrong path.
Be ready to discipline kids. If your sons or daughters join a gang, punish them. If you catch other kids doing it, notify their parents. If you do not know how to notify their parents, you should call the police. Even if the police do not have anything to arrest them for right away, they might be able to pressure or encourage them into getting out of this activity. The bottom line is that it is better to intervene than to do nothing.
Discussing peer pressure
You must help kids resist peer pressure and avoid having bad friendships. One way my parents helped me do this was to urge me to not get mixed up with the “in-crowd” or do something just because it is popular among other kids. The second was to tell me that I must neither focus on doing things just to please others nor be swayed to do something dumb when others call me a chicken. The third was to tell me to shun other kids who want me to do the wrong thing, as they are not real friends.
Encouraging kids to have hobbies
I was less tempted to go astray by having something constructive to do. I was encouraged to play sports and take up hobbies. If kids you know are of working age, help them find a job. If they are below working age, consider hiring them to do yard work, babysitting, etc.
Explaining consequences of joining gangs
You can also help them by discussing self-image and letting them know what they are in for if they conduct gang activity. Tell them that they do not have to join a gang or be tough guys to have a good image and gain respect. Explain to them that they will be sorry once they go to prison. In an episode of “Walker, Texas Ranger”, three former ex-cons talked to a group of young gangsters and gave them a good idea of what their future will be like. One of them explained that he was known as “Slash” after he had an eye slashed out of its socket in prison due to acting tough. He said, “You think you’re tough? In prison, they love guys like you who think they’re tough.”
You have learned how to keep kids from joining a gang. By using these suggestions, you should hopefully convince your kids to do something more constructive with their lives.