One of the many temptations many teenagers come across is the temptation to join a gang. This temptation has been around for a long long time. Young men and even young women with an out of control rebellious spirit have been drawn away by gangs or even started gangs of their own. In fact, one of the first man’s (Adam’s) sons, Cain, started the first gang.
It is very important to let your teenager be an integral contributing part of the family. Even if the family is a one parent family, the teen can be made to feel a closeness to the family and a contributing part of it where he or she is making important contributions that no other person can make. Never belittle a teen’s thoughts or attempts to contribute to the family. Always discuss disagreements with civility and respect the teen as an adult. Always focus on and encourage his or her potential. The teen is actually seeking direction from you and testing the waters. Do not discourage their curiosity and testing of the waters but give specific reasons why you disagree, using life experience if applicable. Teens, like adults, tend to want to learn by other’s mistakes rather than that old school of hard knocks.
The childhood experience has already had its lessons and most teens would rather find out the specifics why certain things are bad or don’t work rather than going down a path of heartache. They hate wasting time in the school of hard knocks as much as you do. They would much rather spend time having good clean fun without consequences than imagined fun that leads them down a road that ages them too quickly.
‘My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent. If they say, "…Cast in your lot among us, let us all have one purse." Keep your foot from their path; for their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed blood. So are the ways of everyone who is greedy for gain; it takes away the life of its owners.’ – Proverbs 1:10,11,14,15,16,19