3 Steps To Take When a Teenager Is Caught Stealing

Discovering that a teenager has stolen something can leave parents horrified. Whether the stolen item is a pack of gum or a designer shirt, it is a problem. Parents should deal with the issue immediately and effectively to try to prevent recurrences.

1. Determine the Reason

There are many reasons why teenagers would steal something. Perhaps their friends encourage them to engage in the behavior and teenagers fear they will not fit in if they don’t give in. Teenagers may be struggling with impulse control or internal struggles that result in theft.

2. Discuss Consequences

If the item was stolen from a store, it is important to determine the circumstances. If the police caught them, they might face legal consequences. If they are no longer minors, they could end up in jail, paying for Wayne County bail bonds and dealing with court appearances. Even if the police were not involved, parents should talk about the risks involved.

In cases where items were stolen from family members, it can permanently damage relationships. Even if the teenager is forgiven, they may struggle to earn back the lost trust.

3. Return the Item

No matter how small and inexpensive an item is, it should be returned immediately. Whether it is to a store manager or family member, teenagers should hand over the stolen property and offer a sincere apology. The apology can be in the form of a letter or performed verbally.

When teenagers steal, it is a sign that something is not right. Figure out what motivates them to engage in the behavior and try to resolve any issues. Arm them with the tools they need to resist peer pressure and get back on the right track. While it is not easy to deal with, taking action to prevent further incidences can help parents effectively deal with the situation.