Many teens shoplift for the sport of it, under pressure from friends, or because they have problems delaying gratification. How can you prevent your teen from engaging in this form of risk taking?
• If your teen feels peer pressure to shoplift, talk about ways to say no and discuss some good reasons to do so.
• Also discuss the danger of being with somebody who shoplifts and find ways she can avoid getting caught in such a situation, such as refusing to go with a friend who engages in such behavior, suggesting going to a movie instead.
• If your child has a problem with stealing items she really wants, point out that saving and planning for a special item can be a pleasure in itself. Help her to plan and to find ways to make extra money and to discover that earned pleasures are the best.
• If your teen thinks that shoplifting is no big deal, discuss how people from proprietors to consumers suffer as a result of theft. Help her to see that when one person steals, everyone pays, and explore ways she can make a positive difference in the community.
An expert in the field of adolescent behavior, Ms. McCoy has authored eleven books on the subject including the best selling “The Teenage Body Book”. Additionally she has written hundreds of articles for major national magazines. Coordinator of the Clinical Ph.D. Program at California School of Professional Psychology and Staff Counselor at the Center for Individual and Family Counseling in North Hollywood, California.