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Many gang members say they joined because the gang offered them support, caring, and a sense of order and purpose -al the things that most parents try to give their kids. The odds are that the better you meet these needs, the less need you children will see for gangs. Here are some parenting skills that are especially important:

. Talk with listen to your child. Spend some special time with each child.,

. Put a high value on education and help your child to do his or her best in school. Do everything possible to prevent dropping out.,

. Help your kids identify positive role models and heroes - especially people right in your community.,

. Do everything possible to involve your children in supervised, positive group activities.,

. Praise them for doing well and encourage them to do their very best - to stretch their skills to the utmost.,

. Know what your children are doing and whom they are with. Know about their friends and their friends' families.,

Don't forget to talk about gangs. The best time is before there's a major problem. Tell your child that:

. you disapprove of gangs,

. you don't want to see your child hurt or arrested,

. you see your child as special, and worth protecting,

. you want to help your child with problems,

. family members don't keep secrets from each other, and

. you an other parents are working together against gangs.

Don't forget to listen to your child as well !!



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New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice
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Trenton, NJ 08625-0085
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