Keeping Your Kids Safe from Gangs

How to discourage your children from joining gangs

  • Discourage your children from hanging around with gang members. Meet your children’s friends. Find out who they are, what influence they have over your children, and how they and your children spend their free time. If your children choose friends that are mostly from gangs, then your children are probably involved or will become involved in one also.
  • Occupy your children’s free time. Give them responsibilities at home. Get them involved in after-school sports, city on, or church activities.
  • Develop good communication with your children. Good communication is open, frequent, and has a positive tone. It allows your children to come to you to discuss any topic or problem. It does not condemn or put down. Good communication allows you to tell your children that you love them.
  • Spend time with your children. Plan activities that the whole family can enjoy. Spend time alone with your children. them to different places outside of your neighborhood, such as parks, museums, the beach, the mountains, camping trips, etc. Give them attention.
  • Do not buy or allow your children to dress in gang-style clothing. If your children dress in gang-style clothing, they are expressing an interest in gangs and will attract the attention of gangs.
  • Set limits for your children. At an early age, children need to know what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior.
  • Do not allow your children to stay out late and spend a lot of unsupervised time out in the streets. (those under 18 years of age) are subject to an 11 p.m. curfew in the City of Los Banos. If contacted by a police officer, they could be subject to arrest and/or a citation.
  • Do not allow your children to write or practice writing gang names, symbols or any other gang graffiti on their books, papers, clothes, bodies, walls or any other place. Teach respect for other’s property.
  • Develop an anti-gang environment in your home. Clearly and continually begin to express to your children at an early age your disapproval of gang activity and of any family members joining a gang.
  • Learn about gang and drug activity in your community. Learn how gang members dress, how they speak, their behavior and their activities. Attend informational meetings, and read articles related to gang activity. Become an informed parent.
  • Participate in the education of your children. Take an interest in your children’s education. Visit your children’s school, meet their teachers, and attend parent/school meetings. Help your children with their school work. Set high standards for your children.
  • Participate in the community. Know your neighbors. Organize or join Neighborhood Watch groups. Discourage gangs from hanging around your neighborhood. Remove graffiti from around your home. Attend community functions. Teach your children civic pride.
  • Be a good example. Become an active, not passive, parent.
  • Learn alternatives to gang membership; but, most importantly, talk to your kids.

Suggestions for positive alternatives to gang activity:

  • Boys & Girls clubs
  • Boy Scouts
  • Church groups
  • Girl Scouts
  • Hobbies
  • Music
  • ROTC
  • Sports
  • YMCA
  • YWCA