How To Know If Your Child Shoplifts


Parents take pride in their children. If a kid performs poorly or if he acts in a bad manner, parents sometimes feel the consequences more because a child is often seen as an extension of his parents. People often generalize that if a child is ill-behaved, then the reason is probably because his parents are the same too. This isn’t necessarily so. A lot of kids are naughty, but this does not mean that they are corrupt or evil to the core. Sometimes, children get into a lot of trouble because they want to be adventurous, to test authority, or to put their abilities to the test.


When Kids Do Bad Things

Shoplifting is a common issue with kids today, and there are many reasons why this happens. Even though kids, especially teens, are aware that what they’re doing is wrong, they still do it. But children’s reasons often differ from what motivates adults to steal.


– Jealousy

The most common reason is that some teens get jealous of the nice things that their friends have. For instance, Jane likes Emily’s brand new phone given to her by her parents. Jane asks her dad to buy her one too. Her dad, however, refused because he can’t afford the phone for now. Since Jane is dying of envy, she decides to take matters into her own hands; and her decision involves stealing a phone for herself.


– Wants to Test Authority

Some kids shoplift just to see if they can get away with it. Even though they can just ask their parents for money, they may choose to steal because they are curious about what the consequences of their actions will be.


– Boredom, Confusion, Depression

There are also teens that resort to stealing because they’re just too bored, confused or depressed. The illegal act gives them an adrenalin rush that stimulates their bodies and their minds.


– Peer Pressure

The need to belong also spurs some adolescents to steal. Maybe shoplifting is a way that will get them accepted to a certain group. Troubled kids are the most vulnerable because their emotions and their thoughts are too confused, and they can be easily convinced by others to commit a crime.


3 Signs That Your Child Could be Shoplifting

So, how do you know that your precious child is shoplifting? Here are some revealing signs.


1. Your child has a lot of expensive things.

Is your daughter wearing a pricy bracelet or carrying around a costly bag? Is your son no longer bugging you to buy the smartphone that he wants because, surprisingly, he already has it? If your teen suddenly has a lot of expensive possessions and you know that his allowance is not nearly enough to buy him these items, then something is amiss.


2. There are numerous tags, packaging material or shopping bags in your child’s room.

When you go to your daughter’s room to get the laundry and you notice that her trash bin is filled with price tags, then there might be something wrong especially if you know that she does not have the means to purchase such items. Be alert and talk to your child about where she got the money to buy all those new things.


3. Your child’s friends seem to be very generous.

Your teen is smart and she’ll know that if she leaves clues, you’ll soon find out what she’s up to. So, she creates a scapegoat – a rich and generous friend. It’s normal for your child to share things with her friends, and sometimes, her friends might also give her nice gifts. But usually, presents are for special occasions. If your child’s “rich friend” is overly generous, he or she is probably too good to be true.


Elliot Savitz is a seasoned criminal defense attorney who heads the Law Offices of Elliot Savitz. He specializes in assault and battery, drug-related charges, as well as shoplifting.