Sharpen your skills as a parent
Many gang members say they have joined because the gang offered them support, caring, and a sense of order and purpose -- all the things that most parents try to give their kids. The odds are that the better you meet these needs, the less your children will see a need for gangs.
Here are some parenting skills that are especially important:
Don't forget to talk about gangs. The best time is before there's a major problem. Tell your child that --
- Talk with and listen to your child. Spend some special time with each child you have.
- Put high value on education and help your child to do his or her best in school. Do everything possible to prevent dropping out.
- Help your kids identify positive role models and heroes; especially people right in your community.
- Do everything possible to involve your children in supervised, positive group activities.
- Praise them for doing well and encourage them to do their best to stretch their skills to the utmost.
- Know what your kids are doing and whom they are with. Get to know their friends and their friends' families.