Gangs have become a part of society today. Like it or not gangs are present just about everywhere. There are still small towns that have not been infiltrated yet, but most places in America have gangs in them or very near by. The gang phenomenon is an interesting topic to consider. The reason kids join gangs vary from case to case, but there seem to be some common factors that we have observed.
Gangs Become Family
When a child is left on their own most of the time in a dangerous neighborhood, they seem to inevitably end up in a gang. It can be due to self preservation. If the teen comes from a gang neighborhood, they may be considered a gang member even if they are not. They may figure it is the lesser of two evils; at least they will have the protection of their neighborhood gang if they join. When a child comes from a single parent home, if the parent works the child has a lot of alone time. If a child has siblings that are gang members, it would seem logical that they would naturally evolve into the same gang. Siblings many times will follow the example of older siblings.
Preventing a child from Joining a Gang
When a parent is sincerely concerned about their child joining a gang they may want to consider some of these ideas.
* Know where children are all of the time
* Don’t leave children unattended
* Keep children busy in sports and extra activities
* Verify children’s whereabouts
* Education about gangs in area
These are just a few of the ideas that we came up with to try to keep a child from joining a gang. If a child feels loved and monitored, they will have a tendency to stay away from gangs. If a child is taught about the gangs in the area, they will be better equipped to stay way from them.
It is only logical that keeping a child out of a gang is much easier than trying to rescue a child from a gang. It can be a dangerous life threatening event to take a child or teen from a gang. A gang intervention is much more dangerous than a drug intervention. It would seem the only way to remove a teen from a gang would be to remove the teen from the area they live in. Relocating to another city will allow the teen a chance to break gang affiliations. This will only work if the teen has a desire to stay out a gang however. In some cases, placing a teen in a boarding school away from home will also create the break necessary.