Gangs are everywhere. Senseless violence including murder happens in places that no one would ever expect. Main stream media and the most popular entertainment make matters worse by providing content that present affiliation with gangs and the life they lead in a fun, happy, happening, cool way.
They would have the youth believe that it is a family where you do what you want, when you want, make plenty of money and enjoy power and control.
It's easy to see why without proper guidance and in the home this could easily be a path for teens to follow, especially when there are members who actively recruit looking for vulnerable teens.
Little do the youth know that their vision of belonging to gangs is nothing like television. There is little control, power, or money for them only the leaders, the fun is minimal and the new young member is the one most often placed in danger committing the crimes and taking the risks just to hand over money to the leaders. How much fun is that?
So now there IS more discipline, structure and guidance (even though its destructive) which leaves an illusion to some youth that there is care and concern for them. (Which is why parent should parent and not buddy)Because of that and the fact that it's easier to accept that thought process than to accept the fact that the decision to join was a mistake, the youth is likely to stay committed and do what is asked by the gang.
Of course this new set of circumstance still does not totally fill the same void that existed in the home with passive parents so the youth is willing to continue trying new things presented to him or her, such as drugs, prostitution, or more serious roles in the gang activity.
And there you have it, lives are potentially ruined from the youth to the victims of the crimes that will be committed to the sanity of the caring well meaning parent. (If you don't really care none of this will concern you, yes there are parents like that and if you know one you need to step up for that youth.)
We must do a better job of parenting our youth!
My young soldiers,I hope your seeing the full picture now, if you realize what your missing is something your parents should be providing, try talking to them about it. If you can't talk to them because of problems within the home seek help. There are many organizations for every need that you have. Here are some place to turn.
But let me tell you this first, DO NOT make up stuff about your parents because you want to run away or because you are MAD at them for disciplining you. The consequences of doing that could ruin their life. If you care at all about your parents it will ruin yours too.
Remember, if your parents are trying to discipline you and teach you good things that will help you in your life, its because they love you and are looking out for your future, not because they don't want you to enjoy life.
Now if you need other information to give you insight and answers to deal with real issues in and out the home for teens and young adults check out these links.