How to recognize changes that indicate involvement in a gang

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How to recognize changes that indicate involvement in a gang

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If you feel that your son or daughter is in a gang, the first thing that you must do is not ignore the situation. Oftentimes, I talk to parents who tell me that they never saw it coming, that they never imagined that their little boy, their little girl could be involved in such dangerous things. It’s very important to recognize that oftentimes the clues are there – we just chose not to see them. It’s important to open your eyes. Here are some of the clues to look for. If your son or daughter has drastically changed their friendships; if you see that your son or daughter is hanging with a different crowd that they typically would, pay attention; if your son or daughter has changed the way that they dress drastically; you find that all of a sudden they’re interested in a different fashion, in a different style of clothing, pay attention to that as well. If you are hearing from the school that your son or daughter is involved in fights all of a sudden, or their grades have seen a dramatic decrease, it’s very important for you to pay attention. Music, interest, all of these are signs that something could be happening. But pay attention, when you begin to see signs that are serious, again, don’t ignore them. Sit down with your son and daughter and really listen, listen to their rationale why is it that they’re interested in becoming involved in gangs. What you will typically find is one of two reasons – they are either intimidated and feel scared, and so they join the gangs for protection, or two – belonging – they want to join the gang because they feel ousted, and want to be a part of a larger group. Don’t minimize their concerns, listen to them and reassure them. But your love and affection, your involvement is going to be the greatest vaccine against gang involvement.

Watch Video: How to recognize changes that indicate involvement in a gang by Jorge Partida, PsyD, ...

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Jorge Partida, PsyD

Psychologist

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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