Most young people don’t want to carry or use a knife. But some may carry a weapon because they’re afraid of others carrying one. Knife crime can also be a direct result of drug dealing and gang turf wars.
The topic is often in the news, so it’s common for parents and carers to worry about knives. There is support available if you need it, and some things you can do to support your child.
If your child is carrying a knife, it may not be because they’re looking for trouble. Peer pressure, social media and exploitation by gangs can make young people feel they should protect themselves.
Trying to understand why your child is behaving the way they are can help you work out how to support them.
We have some advice on what to do if you think your child is being exploited.
Have open and honest conversations with your child about what they think and feel. They may not want to talk, but don’t force the conversation. Let them know you’re there for them if they need you. This way they’ll be more likely to speak up if they do get into any trouble.
Listen to any worries your child has. It can help to:
Putting boundaries in place within the home can help your child understand what behaviour is acceptable. Setting standards early means your child is less likely to follow standards set by others.
See our advice on setting house rules for teenagers.
Be aware of where your child is when they go out, and who they’re with. Show an interest in their friends without putting pressure on them to tell you everything. Get to know your child’s friends and invite them over.
Find ways to help your child connect with others in their community, so they have positive interactions with those around them. Help them understand what makes good friends and positive relationships.
Think about putting a safety plan in place, without making it too formal. You can:
Ask your child’s school, college or youth club what they’re doing to educate young people on knife crime. Your child may find it easier to speak in a class or group setting.
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