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Fifteen-Year-Old Son and Gang Involvement


For the past two years, my 15-year-old son’s behavior has deteriorated. His teachers are concerned about his academic performance. He has great difficulty remaining focused and on-task. I learned last month that he is part of a criminal gang. His aggressive behavior is difficult to control. What can I do?



You state that your teenager's behavior changed two years ago. Were there any major changes in his life at that time? Your son is making poor choices. If he is involved with a gang, it could be influencing his decisions and making it difficult for him to turn his life around.  

You need to gain support wherever you can. For example, have you contacted the school’s staff and informed them of your concerns? Schools have excellent resources with on-site counselors and school psychologists who can meet with ​your son during school hours. They also can be another set of eyes and ears for you by monitoring his behaviors more closely during school hours.

If you have not already, we strongly encourage you to start outpatient counseling for your son. If you feel that he won’t go with you, reach out to the school for support. 

You state that he has difficulty studying and remaining focused. This isn’t surprising, as he probably doesn’t have school on his mind given his gang involvement. He needs a neutral third party with whom he can discuss his concerns.