When you suspect that your teenager is involved in criminal behavior, your initial reaction may be to get upset and ground him or her from any possible privilege. However, utilizing the situation to teach a valuable lesson may allow you to show your teen that you care and that you expect him or her to have integrity and be honest. At Marinaro Law Firm, we are committed to helping people in Pennsylvania to protect their future when they have been convicted of a crime. 

Shoplifting, while a less severe crime than others, is still an offense and punishable by both fines and jail time. When you are confronted with information that leads you to believe your teenager has stolen something, familyeducation.com suggests that there may be several reasons why the offense was considered in the first place including the following:

  • Your teenager wanted something he or she knows you will not allow them to have.
  • Your teenager had hoped to impress his or her friends.
  • Your teenager may see this criminal activity as something fun and adrenaline-inducing.
  • Your teenager may struggle with impulse control and appeases his or her wants by stealing.

There are healthy ways for you to confront this irresponsible behavior that will hopefully make a positive impression on your teen. Clearly express your disappointment and ask your teen to be forthright in explaining his or her reasoning for doing what was done. Use the situation to talk about ethics and values and the importance of having integrity and being honest. Be supportive in working with your teen to return the stolen goods or to pay restitution if the items cannot be returned. If your teenager still wants whatever was stolen, encourage him or her to earn the money to get it back. If legal repercussions are involved, encourage your teenager to meet the conditions on his or her own and continue to provide support.

When you understand how to manage the difficult situation in which your teenager has shoplifted, you may be more confident in your ability to provide instruction without allowing your emotions to take over. For more information, if your teenager has been charged with shoplifting, visit our web page.