Breaking the hold of gang membership

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Breaking the hold of gang membership

If your child is in a gang and you have found out that he's in a gang, you can help; you're not helpless. And it's very important for you to take these following steps. The first things is confront the situation. Let your son know that you know what's going on, that you are aware of their gang involvement. And then secondly, begin to take these steps for them to get out. It's very important for you to find out the reasons why your son is interested in becoming involved in gangs. Listen to their experience. Very important that during those months where you first find out that your son is involved, it's the most magical period of transformation, so you have the most ability to impact their behavior. Talk to the schools about what's going on with your son. Make sure that your son is involved in extracurricular activities, that your son is not falling behind academically, and if he is falling behind, then make sure that you assign a tutor to make them stay up. It's also important for you to recognize that your son may be passing through a phase of depression or anxiety. Important to find out the reasons why your son is experiencing these emotions and begin to find appropriate means of being able to address these, either through counseling, professional counseling or through connections socially. Does your son have interests and talents that he can pursue? Can you help them find, for example, a boys and girls club or other activities that are appropriate to begin to distract them away from the gang involvement. Remember the reason why children become involved in gangs is either for protection or for belonging. If your child is afraid for their safety, make sure that these fears are communicated to you. If it's an issue of belonging, find out why your son is feeling left out and find appropriate means of socializing for your son or daughter.

Watch Jorge Partida, PsyD's video on Breaking the hold of gang membership...


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Jorge Partida, PsyD


Dr. Jorge Partida is a Psychologist, Green Advocate and Indigenous Healer. He was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico and immigrated to Chicago at nine years of age. Dr. Jorge has been a consultant on many national and international projects in the areas of education, health, diversity and spirituality.  Dr. Jorge has worked with local and national governments to coordinate services for those most impacted by poverty, war and displacement.  He has worked in Liberia Africa in the repatriation of boy soldiers and has worked to form “intentional communities” in poverty impacted countries of Latin-America.

Dr. Jorge is the author of The Promise of The Fifth Sun and A Week of Awakening.  His writing integrates psychology with native healing traditions to form an easy to use self-help approach.  Dr. Jorge has designed and facilitated healing workshops that incorporate ritual and practice. 

Dr. Jorge has served as Director of the PsyD program at John F. Kennedy University and as Deputy Director of Behavioral Health with the San Francisco Department of Public Health.  Today, Dr. Jorge is the Executive Director of the United States Green Building Council-Los Angeles (USGBC-LA).  He believes that the discussion of sustainability provides a platform to address today’s most complex issues. 

For more than twenty years, Dr. Jorge has presented mental health segments on television and radio. He has worked with many networks, including Univision, Telemundo, HITN-TV in Spanish and CBS, UPN, NBC and PBS in English. 

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