Children become involved in gangs and drugs for various reasons. The most common reasons are:
- Family issues
- Lack of positive communication
- inadequate adult supervision
- Desire for friendship/sense of belonging
- Need for attention, respect, or a sense of “being somebody”
- Low self-esteem
- Peer pressure
- Fear/need for protection
- Excitement/sense of power
- Media glamorizing gangster lifestyle
- Financial benefits
- Let your child know gangs are not welcome in your home
- Know who your child’s friends are
Be Aware of
- their appearance and dress pattern
- what they keep in their room
- emblems drawn on notebooks and other personal items
- new friends
- new and strange nicknames
- attitude towards authority figures
Ask your child questions and be aware of how they spend their time
- Where are you going?
- Who are you going with?
- How are you getting there/back?
- Establish a curfew
Get involved in removing gangs and drugs from the community
- Get to know the community-based organizations; they can be an important resource for parents
- Speak to religious leaders in the community; they can provide good advice and know of programs that encourage anti-gang behaviors.
Send a message of zero-tolerance to gangs that try to become a part of your community
- Call Neptune Police Department 732.988.8000 and report and remove graffiti as soon as it appears
- Make them uncomfortable by calling Neptune Police Department for minor infractions (littering, loitering and loudness)
- Speak with your child about the consequences of gang involvement