Having the conversation
By visiting this site, you’ve already taken the first step to helping your child. It’s crucial to understand what a gang is, why young people may join gangs and what the risks of doing so are, before you have a conversation with your child.
It is important to remember that being part of a gang in itself isn’t illegal but it may mean that your child puts themselves in risky situations or goes on to involve themselves in the crime that gangs commit.
Gangs can be attractive to young people as being part of a gang may offer them a sense of identity or belonging, a feeling of protection or increased status or respect amongst their peers.
Remember that suspecting that your child is part of a gang isn’t proof, so approach the conversation with an open mind and be prepared to listen to your child before reaching a conclusion or making accusations.
By understanding why a young person may want to be part of a gang as well as being informed of the risks, you’re well placed to begin challenging your child’s perceptions about gangs.
You could try introducing the topic by talking about news stories or perhaps storylines from TV programmes to talk about gangs directly with your child. This can naturally lead on to discussions about the risks and potential consequences of being involved with a gang.
Try and remain open minded and avoid making judgements about your child. Remember that your child is experiencing their childhood in different times to your own and are likely to be facing many challenges that perhaps weren’t present when you were their age.
Remind your child of the positive things about them including any sports or hobbies that they are good at. Encourage them to see the positives that these activities can bring them and encourage them to put their efforts into these. If your child isn’t involved in any sports, groups or activities, you could encourage them to check out what’s available for them in Derby.
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