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Helping Others....

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  • Helping Others....

    As a parent, keeping your child out of a Gang isn’t going to be easy. It would be if in a perfect world. But we live in a world where both parents work, or there are single parent households. But what you can do to help in keeping your child out of a gang is talk to your child. Not just in passing, but sit down and talk, and be prepared to listen. Don’t talk to your child as a parent to child, but as a friend. Don’t judge, or criticize your child.

    Sit down and listen.
    Go someplace comfortable, and just sit back and be honest, let your child know that this is just between you and them. Don’t make it seem like your child has to answer questions, or is being “interrogated” by you. Ensure your child that this is an open, honest talk between you and him/her. Let your child just talk, and answer questions without sounding angry, or judgmental. Use this time to find out what activities your child is interested in, and make mental notes on that. Use this time to for both of ya’ll to learn.

    Help your child.
    Once you find out what your child is interested in, help your child get more involved. If it is sports, find a little league and help your child get into that, if it is building models, get some models. But don’t just help your child get into it, get involved as well. We are all busy, but we make time for ourselves, use some of that time to give to your child. It’s a small sacrifice to make to keep your kid out of a Gang. Show them they don’t have to look somewhere else to find love, belonging, and family.

    Pay Attention.
    Pay attention to your child, look at the small details. If you see that your child may be using what appears to be gang signs or dressing in gang colors, step up and ask. Don’t sneak around. If your child feels that you are spying on him, he will turn away. Don’t step on him and approach him as if you are interrogating him, but just make mention of it and be prepared to listen. Don’t assume anything, something may look like gang colors or emblems and may not be. With trends always changing, sometimes its hard to tell.

    These are just some ways to help, but each child is different. I don’t guarantee that these all will work, but each one has one thing in common. Spending time with your child. That’s the number one thing to do to help keep your child out of a gang. If you show your child that they don’t have to turn to a gang to get the help, love, support they want, then the chance of them turning to a gang is small.

    I am not an expert, never claimed to be.
    I am just a concerned parent of 3 small children, and want to help keep kids out of gangs. These are the tools I use, and just want to pass them on to hopefully help others.

  • #2
    Very good advice, Don. I once heard a older guy say "If you don't raise your kids, the streets will." Now that I'm an 'older guy' I see the truth in his statement.


    • #3
      Thanks, and that is so true. Some of the "Gang Bangers" coming into my unit aint but 18. I interview them and they tell me they have been in gangs since they were "kids". If I can help keep kids out of Gangs, then I am happy. I have 3 kids, and I don't want to see them wind up gang banging.


      • #4
        Another Tip!

        This is in coorelation to the original posting of Gang prevention, and is another route to take in addition too speaking with our youth.. But getting other areas of our community involved. Taking a look at where our children go, and what they do, we can set up programs to assist keeping children out of gangs. The reason I bring this up, is that being a part of a GRIP council, one thing that many people have never cared to look for help in, is where the children hang out, and what can be done there...

        We established a community service program where juveniles that have been found guilty of a low grade crime, can come to my office and serve community service. Some of these youth are good kids, but they got wrapped up in something they dont see will destroy them. Well, after getting to know a few of these youth, and their parents, I established a contact list and program of collections for the parents. Being that we are a major mall, and almost all youth hang out here, many of these juveniles end up in our jurisdiction. So, to help the parents, they put their names, contact numbers, and childrens names on a specific list we keep on file. Most of the time, photo's are helpful.

        What happens next, is when these youth show up at our mall, and most of the time without their parents knowledge, we find them wandering about, getting involved with people they shouldnt. We collect the child, assume custody, and bring them to our control facility. These youth wait, as their parents are contacted, and further direction is established. While waiting, some of my Officers come by and do a little "butt chewing" or positive reinforcement. We have some parents who ask to have their child dropped off at home, or they come and pick them up. Then we have some that due to work (parents have to work more to make ends meet now days), will ask if we can hold them until they get off work, or arrive. In some cases we have youth waiting for extended periods of time, which we will keep them entertained with anti-gang films or litature. If the duration is too long for pick-up, we also have a community center, in which many gang intervention personnel work at, and we drop them there. Its a control system, where the child looses their ability to just wander about freely, making contact with whoever and whatever, and have to be under adult supervision until the parents assume custody again.

        This is a new program, and has its benefits, and drawbacks, but I believe the long term effects will outlast the short term draining. Its hard, and needs cooperation from many angles, but if it is something that can be put together, its a great tool for the parents who really do care!
        Deputy Sheriff


        • #5
          Excellent advise. Sounds like a good thing!!!!!


          • #6
            I agree. Sending misguided youths to detention facilities is counterproductive in my opinion. These facilities are often already infested with gang members who would love to get their hooks into such ones and make them hard-core members. They end up more violent than when they went in.
            Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)


            • #7
              Great post dla4122!

              Intervention programs are the best idea, with the primary intervention program being mom and dad.
              "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." -Aristotle