Gang Syndrome: I can no longer recognize my child when he is with his friends

“When he’s with his friends, my 5-year-old son changes his behavior in a way I don’t recognize him anymore … Dad, he’s not like that at all,” said Marin, a young mother. From an early age, children weave bonds of friendship that are sometimes very strong. Kindergarten, we can see the group or Tape On the form playground, it is not uncommon to see a girl or a young boy, the leader, often send his “ministers” to ask teachers questions.

Integrating a band: rules to follow

In our society, Group of friends As opposed to the valuable family model, it teaches the brutality of a world driven by violence, betrayal but also teaches great moral values ​​symbolized by the notions of loyalty and respect. It provides an openness to the outside world. Often the group consists of people from different and diverse social backgrounds. These moments of sharing, these common tastes strengthen the child’s development in terms of identification. The group is useful for learning to find its place within a structure. This power of friendship in the mental process, Freud praised. The Austrian psychoanalyst writes, “Introduction is the original and most original form of emotional bond”.

Cinema Hall Where the film has created an abundance Friends band Is at the center of the story. Whether Hooligans, Released in 1985, the film marks an entire generation Stand-by-me (1986) Rob Rainer’s work with the late River Phoenix, undoubtedly a reference work in terms of friendship. In fact, it describes the search for a group of inseparable friends in search of the body of a missing child. Adapted from a short story by Stephen King, the feature film conveys a strong message around the strengths of groups and bands. Themes such as viral friendships or initiation ceremonies within groups echo the Western myths of bands of friends that have gone through all ages. Today, the new generation also attaches great importance to the concept of “team of friends”. “Nowadays, young people are afraid to be alone and be a victim of harassment and so they will want to join a gang”, explains therapist Emmanuel Pickett. According to him, Children and adolescents think that groups or gangs are defensive. If they are in a gang, especially if it is popular, they will have nothing. “But this goal of joining the band or becoming popular can quickly cause intense pain,” he continued.

In fact, the band is like a microcosm regulated by law. These can be positive as well as negative. For our expert, “there are some gangs that have problematic rules of the game. For example, to be in a gang, you have to swear allegiance to the queen of the group among the girls or play abusive things like playing in your boss. Boys, boys, not being part of the” hive “. Thus, many children get lost in trying to join a band at any cost, so much so that they are abused and forced to do unusual things for them to fulfill the codes. By doing so, there is a risk of excluding him from the group. It is very difficult for him to be separated from a team that he feels good about.

However, it must be moderate. For our anxious mothers and fathers, the therapist reminds us that it is perfectly normal to see your child Modify its behavior according to the environment in which it develops, it is specific to humans. “Of course if we had a camera on our child’s shoulder during the holidays, we would be completely annoyed,” Emmanuel Pickett said. This should not be a universal analysis because not all bands are subject to code and harmful laws, far from it. “There are children who don’t want to join the gang,” he said It is entirely possible that your little one is friends with different people in each group.

What to do as a parent?

Seeing your child behave differently when he is with his friends can make quick sense in the eyes of parents, then a lot of questions come up. Am I responsible for his behavior? Did I fail in his studies? These questions may give you feedback at the scene even if you are not necessarily aware of the impact of your comments on the child. First of all you have to remember that attitude The child is in no way different from you. It was changed while he was in the band. So, emmanuelle Piquet advised to avoid absolutely insulting comments. BSo destroy all kinds of moralist thinking “Stop acting like a cad when you’re with your friends”. It won’t work at all! Your friends, I remind you that in the evening you will suck your thumb. All these phrases will only make him more opposed and will strengthen the feeling of being associated with the gang. Moreover, you will widen the gap between family models and group perspectives.

Conversely, you can focus on listening. Don’t hesitate to ask him about the reason for this kind of activity by asking him: “Listen, I think it’s very strange that when you’re in your band, you make your cake, when you’re an adorable kid but I guess you have a good reason “Is it interesting to be able to talk about it together? Can we find a solution? I find it embarrassing because you are wearing a mask that you are not,” he said as an example. However, constantly imposing a feeling on him with a hammer “I tell you to change your behavior” would be counterproductive. Each one of the feelings is intimate and specific; What you realize, Your child will not perceive him in the same way as the subject of the relationship. Remember that if the child feels supported by his parents, he will be open to discussion and trust you.

To learn more about this, discover the work of Emanuel Pickett:

You can also watch his video available on YouTube.

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