Online Parent Support Chat

Graffiti Son

My teenage son (first year in college) clearly defies our rules and continues to "tag" or do graffiti. He's defiant about it and I do not know what to do. He previously had a marijuana problem and we drug test him frequently - passes the drug test but continues to "tag".

I'm so angry and want to cut him off financially unless he complies with the law. Help?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Surveillance, hidden cameras, extra patrols and citizen vigilance might help curb the growing graffiti problem, but stopping taggers in their tracks might be as simple as opening a child's closet door.

Deputies on searches of probationers' homes have found closets covered in graffiti along with tagging materials and etching devices. Yet, parents often profess shock to learn their child is tagging, deputies say.

Parents can do so much to head off problems. They need to be the boss. It's OK to search their rooms, but not OK to be oblivious to the problems.'

To build skills and speed, taggers must practice somewhere. Police routinely find notebooks filled with designs, known as ``piecebooks,'' in the homes of youthful offenders. In most states a youthful offender is under the age of 18. Often a court has the latitude to try some young defendants as adults, particularly for repeat offenders who appear to be beyond rehabilitation and are involved in major crimes like murder, manslaughter, armed robbery, rape, or aggravated assault., along with design-filled walls covered by hanging clothing.

Parents should search kids' rooms periodically. If their personal belongings, like notebooks or shoes, have graffiti on them, that's a sign. If they have an excessive amount of marking instruments and they're not art students, that's a pretty easy way to tell they're up to no good. And most high school art projects don't require 1-inch thick black permanent markers.

Don't keep rowing up that river of denial. Look under mattresses and through their papers. If you see ganglike names, like Droopy or Rage in their notes, question them.

Know where your kids are and what they're doing. There's a girl who hangs with a pretty bad gang and is deeply wrapped up between them and their rival. But she's home from school on time every day and her mom has no idea who her friends are.'

Don't think your kid has to look like a gang member to be in trouble. They could be hanging with the wrong crowd. I've stopped being surprised when I see good kids go bad. Generally, you know kids who hang with the gangbangers and it's no surprise when they fall under their influence.