Shoplifting and Teenagers

What To Do and What Not To Do If Your Teenager Is Caught Shoplifting

Mother and daughter having a talk
Ghislain & Marie David de Lossy/Cultura/Getty Images

Quick Links: Parenting Quiz: Is Your Teen 'At-Risk'? | Parenting Troubled Teens

Ok, you've gotten a call that every parent would dread. Your teenager has been picked up for shoplifting. This is 'one of those things' that you have always prayed wouldn't happen, but it has. Now you have to deal with it. Here are a few tips to help you get through this trying time.

  • When you first get the call, write down where you need to go to get your teenager and the phone number of the facility. Many parents do not do this and try to figure it out after they have hung up the phone. Avoid this added stress by writing it all down.
  • Avoid confronting your teenager at the scene or facility. It just will not help and could go against both of you if charges are filed.
  • Find out who is in charge and treat this person with respect. Find out if charges are being filed. Write these things down; do not rely on your memory.
  • When you get home with your teenager, take a time out. You will both need it. There is nothing wrong with letting your teenager know that you are not prepared to discuss this with them yet.
  • Talk with your spouse about consequences. Try and do this a day or two later, so that you know you are over the shock and have calmed down.
  • Lay out the consequences in an Action Plan for your teenager.

    Quick Links: Parenting Quiz: Is Your Teen 'At-Risk'? | Parenting Troubled Teens

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