difficult child age 15 joined a gang at school

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Carolyn9595, Nov 14, 2010.

  1. Carolyn9595

    Carolyn9595 Guest

    This is a new development. Beside failing all his classes, he joined a gang at school. After football games, he goes with them and beats people up. He did not come home Friday night until midnight and he was supposed to be home at 10:30. He walked home from wherever he went. I was in the street searching for him. The next day he told me he body slammed a guy on the concrete. I wish he had not told me that because I can't get that out of my head. I told him he could be charged with assault or if the guy died, manslaughter. Of course he thinks this is stupid to say. He also listens to this terrible rap "music" full of the f word and all kinds of other nasty stuff in it.
    We are losing control of him but he doesn't see how much he is changing. Even kids he knows have told him. What should I do? The school knows they have gangs there and the police are on the move after every football game. Maybe I should talk to the school resource officer. I don't want him to go to any more games but I don't know how to keep him in the house. He either barges out the door or he sneaks out the back. Any ideas on this?
    Oh my God, you all .....I feel so lost these days and you are the only ones that know what it is like to live with someone so oppositional. Sometimes I just want to move and live alone.
  2. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It


    By all means talk to the school resource officer. Here that person is a cop stationed at the school, is it the same where you are? I would also speak to the gang unit of the police in your area. Gangs are nasty and highly dangerous. It is VERY likely that your son is using drugs - WAY more than pot. This is all part of gang life and is almost expected.

    I don't know what you can do to keep him in the house. At his age you truly cannot do a whole lot to him. What you CAN do is to stop giving him ANY money for ANYTHING. Period. If he needs money for lunch at school, go to the school and pay the money to them directly. If he is doing some sort of sport or activity that he needs money for, ONLY pay if you can go give it to the adults in charge and verify that he is truly doing this.

    You are required to give him a roof over his head, food in his belly, and clothes to wear. NOT the clothes he wants, the food he wants, or a nice bedroom. Strip him of EVERYTHING except 7 outfits of YOUR choosing (avoiding his gang colors, etc... thrift store clothes are just fine for him if he needs anything new - including shoes), a mattress on the floor, one sheet, one blanket and one pillow. Food that he likes is to disappear from your home or be locked up in something he cannot get into. He will need a light of some sort in the room - if there is a ceiling light that is fine otherwise a cheap lamp.

    You are FREE to get rid of his stereo, music, ipod, posters, books, and EVERYTHING else. He does NOT own ANYTHING - you are his mother and have a legal right to remove anything you want from his possession and your home. You cannot lock him into the home but you CAN lock any room you do not want him in. I would put a sturdy door on the bedroom with a deadbolt, and put locks on every other door in the home. Keep any $$ you have either in your pocket or in a safe in your room. One parent here had her teen use a knife to cut the pockets of the pants to get the little money she had out of them so he could go party. He cut the pants while she was wearing them to sleep in!!

    If your son touches you in anger, call the police and press assault and domestic violence charges on him. EVERY SINGLE TIME. If he sneaks out of the house, report him as a runaway. If he comes home stoned, call the cops. If you find alcohol or drugs in the house, report it to the police. It will take time before they do much, but keep making reports. It is really the only consequence besides taking all of his stuff away that you have.

    As for his stuff, let him EARN it back with good behavior. If he brings other stuff into the house, get rid of it. If it is something expensive that he might have stolen, report it to the cops as possible stolen property and let them take care of it.

    Your son is going to be furious, but I bet you already are furious at him. Make sure he knows that if he so much as touches you in anger, or if he threatens you, you WILL call the police and you WILL press charges. If he becomes a danger to you, you can tell the police that he cannot stay at your home. They won't like it and will try to talk you out of it, but they cannot refuse to take him if you won't let him back in the house because he is a danger to you.

    Sadly, by age 15 if a difficult child is determined to be in a gang, or hang around the wrong people, or use drugs, or commit crimes, we parents have very few ways to get them to change. Unless and until difficult child wants to change you situation is going to get a LOT worse before it gets better. If you have younger children be very careful to make sure they are not home alone with him. Kids in gangs often use younger siblings to do various things so that they won't get into trouble. They also frequently hide weapons/drugs/contraband in siblings' rooms so that they won't be caught with them. Make sure any younger kids have key locks on their doors also, so that they can be safe from difficult child if he decides to hurt them in any way.

    I am so very sorry. I wish I could say something more hopeful. I hope the police are able to give you some ways to get him out of the gang if that is possible, and that they will help you with him.
  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Susie is completely correct. Gangs are horrible. My difficult child son even says gangs are stupid. I would contact your school about the gangs plus I would contact the police about the gangs and what your son told you. If someone is hurt, it is far better that he only get into trouble for assault than killing someone. If someone dies, at 15, he will be charged as an adult. These gangs are going to want him to carry a gun and drugs.

    Depending on where you live, there are some very violent and dangerous gangs.

    I would strip his room and do what is known as a Full Riley on him. Pull everything out except the mattress, pillow, and blanket. Like Susie said, give him staple clothes from goodwill. No electronics. Its time to lock him down. Do be careful to lock up all your valuables though. He is going to retaliate in a big way.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Contact everyone you can for help. Your son may be angry at you (I think we all know how that feels), but you try the best you can anyway. (((Hugs))) There are good people here who will try to give you moral support and to help you.
  5. Carolyn9595

    Carolyn9595 Guest

    You all offered so much information! I can't thank you enough! I did call the school resource officer anonymously and ask about gangs. He asked for my son's name but I did not tell him. He said there is no gang activity in this school and if you know someone in a gang here and they committ a crime, we will arrest them. I asked about the fights after the football games and they said yes, the police are at every game and break up the fights. Who then do they think are fighting? I said maybe you all do not call them gangs, maybe you call them a group of bullies. But he was adamant there is no gang activity in their school. Well, maybe these guys don't wear certain colors and are not standing out by committing crimes on property but they are amid the others. I do have my purse locked. Friday is the next showdown and we have to think of how to capture him from the school at 3pm and not let him out of our sight. We have no younger children here, thankfully. He would be a terrible role model. He already influences his twin sister. And we have already taken his bed, his table and chair, refused to fix his phone and he has no ipod. When we get really brave, we'll start taking his beloved shoes. As for tonight, he was fine, then rude then at 10pm he broke out homework for the first time and told me shut up when I offered to help him. What planet do these people come from, honestly??
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'm really sorry to have to bring up this ugly topic, but, trust me, I lived with it: Drugs. Is he using them? If so, that's a whole other issue and would cause all the behaviors you are seeing.