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When Your Teen is Caught Shoplifting (page 2)

When Your Teen is Caught Shoplifting

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Updated on Jan 16, 2009

Here are NASP's answers to some commonly asked questions from parents about teen shoplifting:

If I give my child more money, won’t that stop her behavior?
No, because a lack of money is not necessarily the reason your child shoplifted – people shoplift for many reasons but money, or lack thereof, is rarely the key factor in the decision to shoplift. Remember, there are people who have all the money and opportunity in the world who DO shoplift yet there are people who are nearly destitute and have little opportunity for a better life who DO NOT shoplift, who would never even consider shoplifting. Shoplifting is not about the item, it is about the act.

What if my child asks “Did you ever shoplift as a kid?”
Be honest, tell her the truth and share what happened to you and what you learned from the experience.

What if my child says “You took that bath rug without paying”?
Yes, and I now understand that I too used irrational thoughts to justify my actions, even though I knew they were wrong just like you. I have made a commitment never to do that again. And I’m sorry that I set a poor example for you.

Shoplifting is a serious offense, but most teens are experimenting when they try it—never believing they’ll get caught. When they are, they feel remorse and seldom repeat the offense. So take those sticky fingers seriously, but know that you probably don’t have a future mobster on your hands—just a child who needs help learning from his mistakes.

For more information on NASP's Youth Educational Shoplifting Program, click here.

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