To keep youths way from trouble, it’s important to know why children join gangs in the first place. Unless you know the facts, preventing it from happening can be very difficult.
Some kids join these groups because it gives them shelter and protection. If they are living in a place where violence is a daily occurrence, they’ll think that joining these groups will be the solution.
The threat can also come from other groups. Often, youths may feel they can’t just stand aside and be neutral. Because they’re afraid that they might be victimized, they choose to take sides. Unfortunately this often leads to more trouble instead.
Trying to Fit in
Another reason why children join gangs is to be cool with their friends. What happens is that they have a friend who is part of the group. In turn the child is persuaded to join them. This is one reason why it happens a lot. Even at a young age, they need to feel that they belong to a crowd. To fulfill that void, they join these groups.
A Sense of Adventure
When young people think of these groups, they imagine all sorts of thrilling activities. They know the risks involved, but that itself becomes part of the attraction. Usually, the sense of action and adventure outweigh any of the other consequences.
Making Easy Money
The lure of money is another reason why children join gangs. This is one of the most dangerous aspects of these groups. Younger kids may unwillingly deliver packages containing drugs or illegal merchandise. Even older kids who know the risks might be tempted to do it because of the cash involved.
Being Part of a Family
Kids who join these groups often come from dysfunctional families. Unable to get love and caring from their parents, they turn to other people. Their emotional state makes them easy targets for these groups. Nowadays, even pre teens are being enticed to join.
Having an Identity
Teenagers are in the process of developing their own personal life. As such they can be vulnerable to these groups. These clans can offer the teen a sense of purpose, belonging and way of life. This is one more reason why children join gangs. If the teenager’s family life is dysfunctional, the temptation to join will be strong.
The first step is to make sure the living environment is safe. This refers both to home and school. It’s crucial that parents, teachers and law enforcers take the right steps to dismantle these groups.
Another thing you can do is keep the kids busy. Enroll them in sports clubs and other workshops. Above all, spend time with them. It’s not enough to just give them a video game or PC. Talk with them. You need to know how they feel. If you treat them like friends, they’ll open up to you.
Learning why children join gangs is just one step. Once you know the cause, you should take the right steps to ascertain it doesn’t take place.