In recent years, a steady rise in the number of robbery cases among teenagers has been documented. There has been a wide array of reported reasons why teens decide to steal, but surprisingly, most of them will initially say that boredom pushes them to do it. While boredom may not sound logical as an answer, as parents and guardians we need to understand the underlying causes as to why teenagers really take the plunge and start stealing.

Of the many reasons why teenagers get themselves involved in theft and shoplifting, peer pressure tops the list. Teens steal to be cool in front of friends. The image they try to portray to others is “look at me, I’m above the law”, or “look at me, I’m so brave”. Some might steal simply because they want to have something that they can’t otherwise afford or their parents won’t buy them. Sadly, some teenagers will do anything just to feel accepted by their peers. They know that stealing is wrong, but they risk it just to feel socially accepted.

When you come to think of it, a teenager's life is can be seen as harder in this generation. They have to unwillingly fight the battle of having the coolest gadgets, possessing the best cell phone, driving the most high-end car, among other things. This competition can become too hard on them, pressuring them to resort to illegal options just to keep up with the competition. It is therefore important for parents and guardians to recognize and address this issue in order to prevent their kids from ending up with a criminal record. If this behavior is not resolved right away, the habit can be carried on into their adult life, resulting in even more serious consequences.

Establishing a good relationship with your teenager is the first and most important step toward getting rid of his stealing tendencies. Once your teenager sees that you believe in him and still trust him, that alone could empower him to open up to you about his struggles with theft. Remember that teenagers struggle heavily with acceptance, so being accepted by his own family is already a very strong foundation that will encourage him to be open and honest about other things happening in his life.

If you have a nagging feeling that something is not right with your teenager but he refuses to talk, watch out for signs that he has been stealing. A new piece of jewelry, a new flashy gadget, or any product that he cannot otherwise afford with his allowance are red flags that he may be involved in theft. His lack of conversation might be his way of avoiding the issue. However, if your teenager confesses to you about this habit, do not retaliate with a heavy punishment as this will just discourage them to tell the truth the next time around. Your safest and most effective solution would be to enroll your teen in theft and shoplifting prevention classes online. This is a very private and effective way of dealing with the situation. Your child doesn’t need to be humiliated by publicly going to a class, and the entire family can participate in the comfort of your own home. Online instruction will generate conversation and licensed counselors can be contacted if any questions arise. For a child with low self-esteem who is trying to gain status among his friends, this anti-stealing education is an excellent route for the family to take.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Ari Novick is the President of A website dedicated to educating people about theft education. Dr. Novick is a practicing psychotherapist, anger management instructor, parent educator and impulse control expert in Southern California. Click here for more information on Theft Classes Online

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