Shoplifting is a crime that can have serious repercussions. While teens may look at it as no big deal, an instance of shoplifting can follow a person for many years to come and may even have an academic or professional impact. If you have concerns about your child shoplifting, Family Circle offers the following advice.

Offer consequences

Shoplifting is not a victimless crime. To make up for the money lost to theft, many stores must increase prices, which makes it harder on consumers. Also, theft may also lead to employees losing their jobs, which affects their financial stability as well as potentially harming their families. Make sure your child is aware of these consequences, which will paint shoplifting in the proper light.

Highlight store security

Kids may also be unaware of the methods used by store security to apprehend shoplifters. Be sure your child knows about security cameras and alarms, which can go off when a person leaves a store without paying. While it’s important to highlight that stealing is unethical, you can also influence your child by showing the chance of being caught is quite high and this will cause quite a bit of embarassment. 

Look at your child’s belongings

Chances are you’re responsible for buying your child clothing and other items. Even if your teen has a part-time job, it’s unlikely that he or she will earn enough to buy high value items on their own. If you notice an expensive purchase, make a habit of asking your child where it came from. When asking, try to keep a calm and even-tempered demeanor. You don’t want to push your child further away or make it seem like trust is an issue.