Participate in your child's life
As the parent, the most important thing you can do for your child is participate in their everyday life. Your commitment and support means your child will not go looking elsewhere for ways to belong.
Keep in touch. Create an open and supportive home environment so that your child feels comfortable talking to you. Discuss the dangers of street gangs with your child so they understand your viewpoint. Make sure they know you're always there to listen.
Have rules. Establish family rules so your child has a clear sense of boundaries. When they know the exact consequences at stake, they are far less likely to misbehave. If you detect signs of gang involvement, plan an intervention immediately.
Know their friends. Get to know your child's friends by inviting them to your home and involving them in family outings. By watching how your child interacts with friends, you can assess whether they need guidance on building friendships and avoiding peer pressure.
Offer variety. Expose your child to as many healthy experiences as possible so they will discover hobbies and activities that excite them and build their self-confidence. Praise your child's efforts and accomplishments, while underlining the importance of doing your best in school and at play.
Recognize warning signs that your child may be in a street gang