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3 Bumps

Should I move to a different state if my son shows signs that he is in a gang?

I moved to California 3 years ago when my son was 12, now he's about to turn 15, I'm afraid he's in a gang, he hangs out with my new husbands younger brother who is 17 and has started to show gang signs as well... I'm not sure if I should pick up and sell everything and move back to Oklahoma where we are from, or just move to a different town and stay in California

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OUmom3

Asked by OUmom3 at 5:03 AM on Sep. 17, 2013 in General Parenting

Level 2 (5 Credits)
Answers (9)
  • What does your husband think about moving? Or would this be leaving the marriage, too?
    I don't know what you "should" do but I feel certain that addressing problems with your child does not require picking up & moving! So I hope you don't assume that moving is a primary way to address your fears (or that all issues will be resolved BY a move!)
    Behaviors happen in an overall context. Even IF a child is highly susceptible to peer influence (and seems swayed to a particular type), that peer orientation is happening for a reason. It is not inevitable. It's the product of previously existing patterns, family dynamics & internalized beliefs that all combine to shape self-image & HOW kids relate to the world. I think any action you take should reflect that inner aspect, not just be an attempt to sanitize the external factors.
    I suggest checking out the book "Hold On To Your Kids" by developmental psychologist Gordon Neufeld.
    girlwithC

    Answer by girlwithC at 5:40 AM on Sep. 17, 2013

  • If my child were in a gang you bet I would move. Gangs don't allow members to just leave, so I would get as far away from them as possible with as little notice to the move as feasible.
    missanc

    Answer by missanc at 6:40 AM on Sep. 17, 2013

  • What kind of gang are we talking about here? Are we talking about an actual gang, or a group of kids who *think* they're a gang simply because they've decided they are but they're really nothing more than some teens running around playing at it?

    I'm kind of torn between girlwithC's and missanc's feelings - part of me says if it's a real gang, move. But another part says that moving shouldn't be the go-to response. Moving is essentially running away from the problem. While sometimes that is necessary, it's not something you can do all the time, either, nor should you.

    I also wonder what your husband thinks of this, and have you considered what you will do if you move and your sons runs away to go back to the gang?
    wendythewriter

    Answer by wendythewriter at 7:47 AM on Sep. 17, 2013

  • Yes.
    ILovemyPaulie

    Answer by ILovemyPaulie at 7:58 AM on Sep. 17, 2013

  • feralxat

    Answer by feralxat at 8:56 AM on Sep. 17, 2013

  • Is the 17 year old in a gang or is he just showing off gang signs?
    virginiamama71

    Answer by virginiamama71 at 9:05 AM on Sep. 17, 2013

  • Moving might become necessary if your son wants to clean up his act, but it isn't the first response because there are gangs everywhere. If your son truly wants to be in that lifestyle, he'll find it no matter where you go, or create it. Parents often think they can just pick up and run with their teens to get them away from the "bad" crowd, but if they *are* the "bad" crowd, they'll just start it up at their new destination. Not to say your son is a bad kid, there's not much info in the post.
    Ballad

    Answer by Ballad at 10:59 AM on Sep. 17, 2013

  • Gangs are EVERYWHERE. Even in Oklahoma. If you're going to move, you need to try to find a place that has other things to do besides being in a gang.
    gdiamante

    Answer by gdiamante at 10:59 AM on Sep. 17, 2013

  • I agree with Gdiamante. Even in Montana(where I'm from originally) there are gangs in the larger city(and there is still plenty of other trouble to have in the small towns, plus no work lol).

    You may need to move but you also need to address his problems. If he isn't in a gang yet then you should be able to address them where you are by getting him involved in something productive to keep him out of the streets. If he is in a gang you may have to move but you will still have to do the same thing in another city..keeping him out of the streets.
    tntmom1027

    Answer by tntmom1027 at 12:01 PM on Sep. 17, 2013

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