When children grow up to young adulthood, parents are fearful that they might fall in with what parents call the “wrong crowd”. Just what is the wrong crowd? Parents would likely say that gangs, differentiated from the organized crime groups, are what they fear their kids might acquaint with. So the question that is posed is, why do children join gangs? What can the parents do to save their children from the prospect of being recruited? The possibility of brutal crime, and of gangs, comes near the top of list of parents (Michael Mukasey).
Gangs are a threat to the stability and peace that all people need to be able to live peacefully (Mukasey). But first, let us define what is considered a gang (Amy Parnell). As defined, a gang is a grouping of people that have close affinity for each other's protection, enterprise and the expression of one's loyalty (Parnell). This definition may be applied to a group of two or three individuals to the more established larger gang organizations spread across the United States, such as the Bloods and the Aryan Nation (Parnell).
Involvement in gang activities gives an invalid sense of acceptance into what is termed as the “in” crowd (Parents Universal Resource Experts). The youth or child is of the belief that being in a gang is synonymous with respect and popularity associated with the other members of a gang (P. U. R. E. ). But the illusion of this unsound logic doesn't only affect teenage boys, but girls as well (Christian Molidor). Their reason for joining gangs is not only limited to the attachment of popularity to the person, but protection (Molidor).
In truth, association with gangs can result in both physical and emotional damage (P. U. R. E. ). Children involved in gangs even go so far as to present the illusion that they are the most behaved of the brood, and perpetuate the lie that they are alright (P. U. R. E. ). Also, another drawback of gang affiliation is having an unusual fear of something or someone, or simply paranoia (Molidor). It was usual for gang members to express fears that they might be beaten up or killed by attackers belonging to a rival gang (Molidor).
Ironically, female members of the gangs also fear that they might fall victim to the male members of their own groups (Molidor). One victim avers that she was the object of unwanted sexual actions, such as being made to dance almost naked on tables, make pornographic videos, perform oral sexual acts with many of the male gang members or have sex with anyone of the male members (Molidor). This, and many other instances, is asscoiated with the misconception that these gangs would give them a false impression of superiority to other people (P. U. R. E).
It is a need that teenagers want to fill up, that they are accepted, that they fit in (P. U. R. E). If parents believe that their child is associated with any group, gang or cult, the first thing to do is for them to seek counselling for their child (P. U. R. E). They must also embolden their kids to speak their minds and communicate their problems and issues with people that they trust, especially parents (P. U. R. E). Many of the teenagers today are suffering from low self confidence (P. U. R. E). Not only parents are at task for stopping incidence of gang recruitment but also schools (Molidor).
Parents can help their children by emphasizing the need of a good education to their children (Mitchell Morrisey). Also, it would be good for parents to be encouragers of their children, to let them spread their wings, so to speak (Morrisey). But emphasis must not only be limited to academics. Education must also emphasize the dangers of getting involved in gangs and their attached lifestyle (Parnell). But schools and parents also need the states to be involved by creating areas that children and teenagers can use in safety and engage in play (Parnell). Parents must be able in the front lines in the battle against gangs.
They must be able to effectively impart the message that gangs will not give them the needed self-confidence that they seek (P. U. R. E). Parents must be able to provide a place that the teen feels he is safe and is respected (Parnell). The feeling of self-worth and love must be imparted by the parents, mothers in particular (Parnell). Or else, the parents can let the gangs give it to them, so the choice is laid out. Works Cited Molidor, Christian E. “Teenage Girls Buying Into Gang Violence”. <http://www. casanet. org/Library/delinquency/teenage. htm> Morrisey, Mitchell R.
“What is Gang”? <http://www. denverda. org/Prosecution_Units/Gang/What_is_a_Gang. htm> Mukasey, Michael B. “Prepared Remarks of Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey at the Open House for the National Gang Intelligence Center and National Gang Targeting, Enforcement and Coordinating Center”. < http://www. usdoj. gov/ag/speeches/2007/ag_speech_071128. html> Parents Universal Resource Experts. “Teen Gang and Gang Violence”. <http://www. helpyourteens. com/teen_gang_and_gang_violence. html> Parnell, Amy J. “Gang Violence”. <http://www. helium. com/items/1063506-gang-violence? page=2>