If you have teens that hang around your neighborhood, it can be a problem for several reasons. Teens can be noisy and disruptive. Their poor behavior can be a safety issue, especially if there are drugs or alcohol involved. Finally, it is a nuisance if they are constantly loitering or causing vandalism.
If you are having problems with teens hanging around your neighborhood, there are a few things you can do to solve the problem.
Top tip #1: engage with teens
If you notice that teens are hanging around your neighborhood, the first thing to do is talk to them. Find out what they are doing. Are they waiting for a friend? Are they just passing by? Do they have nothing better to do? Often, kids don’t realize that their presence in a particular area might be a nuisance. When you sit down and talk with them, you may discover they had no idea how their behavior impacted others. Simply engaging with teens can prevent vandalism, reduce nuisance noise and alleviate feelings of intimidation.
Top tip #2: Be Respectful
When you talk to teens, try not to be too harsh or angry. Remember, being respectful goes a long way when talking with kids about anything sensitive like this. If you speak to them in a manner that shows you respect them, they will be more willing to listen and more likely to comply with any request you make.
Top tip #3: Be Clear
When talking with teens, be clear and direct. Let them know what your concerns are and why they are a concern. For example, let’s say they tend to park their cars along the side of the road where it can block traffic. Explain to them how this creates problems for people who need access to that road, especially if there is an emergency or something similar. This is one example of how being clear about your concerns will go a long way toward resolving the issue.
Top tip #4: be consistent
If you talk to teens and ask them to leave a particular spot, be sure and check back regularly. If you give them the impression that you aren’t really concerned about the situation, they won’t take it seriously and will probably laugh at you when you speak to them again. You may also want to consider talking with their parents or school officials. The more people who know about the problem, the more likely teens will change their behavior.
Top tip #5: provide positive activities
This tip is more for a community-wide solution. Boredom is often a key reason why teens act in an anti-social manner. The best thing you can do as a community is to provide better teen activities. Plan some of your own or volunteer to help set up and run activities at a local school or recreation center. For example, if you go to summer camp, could you volunteer to help organize activities? This would give your teens something different to do.
Top tip #6: show that you care
Don’t forget to show that you care about how teens behave in your neighborhood. If you see many young people hanging out on your street, it can be easy to get irritated. Yet by showing that you care, it’s possible that they will take your concerns more seriously and will change their behavior accordingly.
Once again, take action! The more teens you talk to, the better. Don’t be afraid to go out of your way to do this. Eventually, word will get around that the adults care about their behavior and will start to realize that they need to change their ways to benefit everyone in the community.