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Steps to take if your teen is caught shoplifting

It's easy to believe that your teen will never do anything wrong. It's just as easy to hope that he or she knows right from wrong, as to make the best decisions at all times.

Unfortunately, as you know from experience, teens don't always make the right decisions. There are times when they go down the wrong path for one reason or another.

Here are some of the many steps to take if your teen is caught shoplifting:

  • Find out what will happen next. For instance, you need to know if your child will be charged with a crime and if he or she is required to appear in court. This is not always the case, but if the legal system gets involved, you need to get serious about what's to come.
  • Don't make a rash decision in regards to punishment. In addition to the legal system, you may want to lay down your own punishment on your teen. While there is nothing wrong with this, you should take time to cool off before doing so.
  • Discuss what happened. Give your teen the opportunity to tell you what happened, including why he or she decided to shoplift.

Shoplifting is not the most serious crime, but it can come with a big punishment if convicted. It can also lead to additional troubles in the future.

If your teen is caught shoplifting, you need to step in as a parent and provide support. You should also learn more about his or her legal rights, as to help him or her avoid the most serious consequences.

Source: Family Circle, "Teen Shoplifting: Causes and Consequences," Sarah Mahoney, accessed Oct. 10, 2017

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