Whether you realize it or not, your child can be at risk of joining a gang. The reasons kids join gangs are complex and varied. However, as a parent, you have more power than you think in keeping your kids away from gangs and gang activity.
Teaching your children good social skills, honest communication, personal responsibility and the ability to make correct decisions will prove invaluable as they grow and mature into adulthood. While five-year-olds may not fully understand the consequences of joining a gang, they can learn how to say NO to negative behavior. Try to point out violent messages on television and in movies. Tell them violence is not a solution to their problem. Talk to your children about ways they can solve problems without fighting or violence.
And finally, involve your kids in recreational activities they enjoy. Help them to pursue their talent in sports, hobbies and the arts. Keeping your child occupied and learning will go a long way in helping them stay busy and out of trouble. The time to begin is now, whether your child is five, ten or fifteen years old.
Know the Warning Signs
Clothing is one of the most common ways to identify gang membership.
Similar Clothing Style:
Gang members may use a particular style of dress, or design to identify with a gang. They may wear the same style of pants, shirts, shoes, socks or bandannas. Their clothing may be fashioned in the gang's colors, or have logos, photos or symbols to represent the gang, or gang members. They may wear accessories that represent their gang's symbols or numbers.
Many gangs use one or more colors to represent their gang. Colors may be represented by clothing, bandannas, shoelaces, hats, belts, necklaces, and other accessories. The color combination depends on what is selected by each individual group.
Symbols and Numbers:
Symbols and numbers are often used by gangs on clothing, accessories, tattoos and graffiti. Some common symbols are crowns, pitchforks, three dots in a triangle. Numbers may also be used to represent a gang's name or area code.
Athletic Apparel/Sports Teams:
Several gangs adopt sports team apparel to represent their gang. (examples-LA Kings=Latin Kings)
Gang members use tattoos to identify who they are, and what gang they belong to or associate/identify with in their area. Gang tattoos are found in highly visible places, such as hands, arms, head, face, chest, back, stomach and legs, and include the name, initials or symbols of the gang or nickname of the gang member.
Hand Signs and Slang:
Gangs often use specific hand gestures to communicate their affiliation with a gang, or to issue a challenge or insult a rival gang. They use a variety of street slang, to communicate verbally, in writing, or graffiti.
Gang graffiti is one of the most visible signs of gang activity in a neighborhood. Gangs use it to communicate with each other, or with other rival gangs, and to intimidate innocent people and the community. They use numbers, symbols, and different letter style to promote themselves or make threats. Gang graffiti is unsafe and illegal. If gang graffiti is observed it should be reported and immediately removed. CALL OGDEN CITY GRAFFITI REMOVAL 801-629-8271.