I had the pleasure of hearing Father Greg Boyle, founder of Homeboy industries (an organization to provide jobs and training for former gang members) speak to a packed audience. And perhaps the most poignant statement made regarding what drives kids to gangs was “a lethal absence of hope.”
It’s not easy finding and maintaining balance in a family. The options for distractions are enormous. Jobs, sports, commitments eat away at family cohesiveness and children can get lost and lose their sense of belonging.
Boyle has an equally poignant solution, care a kid straight. I would add a few ideas to enhance the sense of mutual caring and respect in a family. One night a week, no cell phones, computers, just family sharing dinner, or a movie or game night. Conversation and laughter can soothe many rough edges. If additional direction/support is required, counseling can be the few hours when the whole family gathers and each has a chance to express his/her feelings. The results can be just little changes that make big improvements.