Most young people decide they need to start carrying a knife because they feel threatened. There are tell-tell signs that may suggest they are feeling this way:
- They don’t want to go to school at all.
- They’ve been a recent victim of theft/bullying/mugging.
- They are hanging around with a different network of friends, who may be older and who you suspect are involved in gangs. Potential signs to look out for include graffiti on books and clothes, bandannas, scarves and emblems that are worn constantly, code words, handshakes, and hand signals.
Here you remind them that walking away if confronted is the safest way of dealing with the situation.
Young people are starved of guidance, for good examples, role models, and morality.
Remember how important your friends and interests are to you when you are making decisions.
Tell your loved one that you trust their judgement and that you’ll stand by them. And be sure to set limits that are reasonable. You may be surprised how well your renewed interest in their welfare is received.
Talk about your observations. If they’re willing to talk about how they feel, structure some time with them just to talk, or encourage them to talk with someone on a regular basis.