Teen Shoplifting: Why Do Teens Steal

teenshopliftingAs we are in the summer months, more teens are hanging at the malls.  I get an increase in calls of teens being arrested for stealing and/or shoplifting.  Why are they doing this, especially if they have the money to pay for it?

Too Young To Start

There are almost as many reasons teens steal as there are things for teens to steal. One of the biggest reasons teens steal is peer pressure. Often, teens will steal items as a means of proving’ that they are “cool enough” to hang out with a certain group. This is especially dangerous because if your teen can be convinced to break the law for petty theft, there is a strong possibility he or she can be convinced to try other, more dangerous behaviors, like drinking or drugs. It is because of this that it is imperative you correct this behavior before it escalates to something beyond your control.

Another common reason teens steal is because they want an item their peers have but they cannot afford to purchase. Teens are very peer influenced, and may feel that if they don’t have the ‘it’ sneakers or mp3 player, they’ll be considered less cool than the kids who do. If your teen cannot afford these items, they may be so desperate to fit in that they simply steal the item. They may also steal money from you or a sibling to buy such an item. If you notice your teen has new electronics or accessories that you know you did not buy them, and your teen does not have a job or source of money, you may want to address whereabouts they came up with these items.

Teens may also steal simply for a thrill. Teens who steal for the ‘rush’ or the adrenaline boost are often simply bored and/ or testing the limits of authority. They may not even need or want the item they’re stealing! In cases like these, teens can act alone or as part of a group. Often, friends accompanying teens who shoplift will act as a ‘lookout’ for their friend who is committing the theft. Unfortunately, even if the lookout doesn’t actually steal anything, the can be prosecuted right along with the actual teen committing the crime, so its important that you make sure your teen is not aiding his or her friends who are shoplifting.

Yet another reason teens steal is for attention. If your teen feels neglected at home, or is jealous of the attention a sibling is getting, he or she may steal in the hopes that he or she is caught and the focus of your attention is diverted to them. If you suspect your teen is stealing or acting out to gain your attention, it is important that you address the problem before it garners more than just your attention, and becomes part of their criminal record. Though unconventional, this is your teen’s way of asking for your help- don’t let them down!

Need help?  Visit www.HelpYourTeens.com and join us on Facebook.

Parents Universal Resource Experts: Sue Scheff – Parenting Teens can be Challenging

bringing_families_back_togetherParenting teens today has become one of the most challenging jobs with a new generation of technology, peer pressure, substance abuse, and much more.

As a Parent Advocate, I continuously help parents with today’s teen issues.  Many call my organization, Parents’ Universal Resource Experts, at their wits end

Here are some article that I encourage parents of teens and tweens to take the time to read.  An educated parent is a prepared parent.  A prepared parent can lead to a safer teenager.

School Violence: The dangers of bullying

Teens Shoplifting and Stealing

Teen Dating Abuse

Teen Inhalant Abuse

Teen Suicide

Parenting teen girls

Teen Vandalism

Teen Truancy

Teen Pregnancy

Teen Depression

Teen Runaways

Teen Drug Prevention

Click here to learn more about the author.

Also on Examiner.com

Parents Universal Resource Experts – Sue Scheff: Teens Shoplifting and Stealing

teenshopliftingIt doesn’t matter what your economic status is, it seems some teens from all financial backgrounds will try their “hand” at shoplifting. Why? Peer pressure? Is it cool? Part of the crowd?

What constitutes shoplifting? It doesn’t have to be only stealing, shoplifting can include changing price tags (which is harder to do now with the bar scans in some stores), consuming food or drink without paying for it, leaving a restaurant without paying, wearing items out of a store (again, hoping there isn’t an alarm tag on them) – this and more will land you in legal trouble if you are caught.

Teens seem to believe it could never happen to them – however more and more I am hearing from parents that have had to deal with this.

Why Children Steal and Your Role in Preventing Retail Theft

Very young children sometimes take things they want without understanding why it’s wrong. Elementary school-aged children know better, but may lack enough self-control to stop themselves. Most preteens and teens shoplift as a result of social and personal pressure in their lives. Here are just a few of the reasons why:

• Feel peer pressure to shoplift
• Low self-esteem
• A cry for help or attention
• The naïve assumption they won’t get caught
• The belief that teen stealing is “not a big deal”
• Inability to handle temptation when faced with things they want
• The thrill involved
• Defiance or rebelliousness
• Not knowing how to work through feelings of anger, frustration, etc.
• Misconception that stores can afford the losses
• The desire to have the things that will get them “in” with a certain group of kids.
• To support a drug habit.
• To prove themselves to members of a gang

Be an educated parent, you will have a safer teen.

For more information visit my website on Teen Mischief.  If you have a teen that is at risk, please visit Parents’ Universal Resource Experts. Also visit Teens Health on Shoplifting.

Also on Examiner.com

Parents’ Universal Resource Experts – Sue Scheff: Teen Vandalism

teenvandelismThe US Department of Justice defines vandalism as “willful or malicious destruction, injury, disfigurement, or defacement of any public or private property.” Vandalism can encompass many different acts, including graffiti, public unrest, rioting, and other types of criminal mischief, like breaking windows or arson. Even seemingly harmless pranks like egging and toilet papering homes are considered vandalism in most states.

Unfortunately, many acts of vandalism may go unnoticed in the home, because teens can easily avoid bringing any evidence back with them. This is why it is of particular importance that parents make an effort to know where their teens are at all times. Keeping an open dialogue with your teen about his schedule and friends can help you to better keep tabs on him. A teen that knows his parents care is more likely to avoid criminally mischievous behaviors in the first place.

If you suspect your teen is engaging in vandalism, don’t be afraid to discuss your fears with your teen. While again, it is important to not be accusatory, you should leave no doubt in your teen’s mind that you believe any act of vandalism- big or small- is wrong. Often, teens think vandalism is a ‘victimless crime’; in other words, they don’t believe they’re hurting anyone by spray painting graffiti on a brick building, or tossing a few eggs at a neighbor’s car.

This kind of thinking is your perfect segue into teaching your teen just how wrong vandalism can be.

When your teen defiantly tells you that “nobody got hurt,” explain to them that by spray-painting the façade of his high school, they costs the taxpayers (including you) money to have the graffiti covered and the crime investigated. Remind them that the money for these repairs has to come from somewhere, and that every dollar wasted to fix vandalism is a dollar that must now be cut from somewhere else.Maybe the school will have one less dance, or will be forced to cut out arts programs or programs for under privileged students. If your teen has been egging homes, point out the waste of food that some families cannot even afford. Remind them that someone will have to scrape the dried egg off your neighbor’s windshield, possibly making him late for work, costing him time and money.
 

For more info: Criminal Mischief and your Teen, Parents’ Universal Resource Experts, US Justice Department.

Also on Examiner.com

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) Youth Gang Statistics

teengangs22.jpgYouth gang activity is a significant problem in the United States. The following are statistics related to youth violence and gang activities:

  • 14 percent of teens are gang members (according to a survey in Denver)
  • 89 percent of serious violent crimes committed by teens were committed by gang members
  • Gang members are 60 percent more likely to be killed
  • The average age of a gang member is 17 to 18 years old
  • 25 percent of gang members are between the age of 15 and 17
  • Police reports indicate that 6 percent of gang members are female and that 39 percent of gangs have female members
  • Of female gang members:
    • 78 percent have been in a gang fight
    • 65 percent carry a weapon for protection
    • 39 percent have attacked someone with a weapon
  • Youth gang activity by area type:
    • 72 percent of large cities
    • 33 percent of small cities
    • 56 percent of suburban counties
    • 24 percent of rural counties
    • 51 percent overall
  • Youth gang activity by region:
    • 74 percent in the West
    • 52 percent in the Midwest
    • 49 percent in the South
    • 31 percent in the Northeast
    • 51 percent overall

For more information on Teen Gangs.

By Sue Scheff, Parents Universal Resource Experts

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) Teen and Theft: Why it Happens

teencrime.jpgTeens and Theft: Why it Happens

Too Young to Start

There are almost as many reasons teens steal as there are things for teens to steal. One of the biggest reasons teens steal is peer pressure. Often, teens will steal items as a means of proving’ that they are “cool enough” to hang out with a certain group. This is especially dangerous because if your teen can be convinced to break the law for petty theft, there is a strong possibility he or she can be convinced to try other, more dangerous behaviors, like drinking or drugs. It is because of this that it is imperative you correct this behavior before it escalates to something beyond your control.

Another common reason teens steal is because they want an item their peers have but they cannot afford to purchase. Teens are very peer influenced, and may feel that if they don’t have the ‘it’ sneakers or mp3 player, they’ll be considered less cool than the kids who do. If your teen cannot afford these items, they may be so desperate to fit in that they simply steal the item. They may also steal money from you or a sibling to buy such an item. If you notice your teen has new electronics or accessories that you know you did not buy them, and your teen does not have a job or source of money, you may want to address whereabouts they came up with these items.
Teens may also steal simply for a thrill. Teens who steal for the ‘rush’ or the adrenaline boost are often simply bored and/ or testing the limits of authority. They may not even need or want the item they’re stealing! In cases like these, teens can act alone or as part of a group. Often, friends accompanying teens who shoplift will act as a ‘lookout’ for their friend who is committing the theft. Unfortunately, even if the lookout doesn’t actually steal anything, the can be prosecuted right along with the actual teen committing the crime, so its important that you make sure your teen is not aiding his or her friends who are shoplifting.
Yet another reason teens steal is for attention. If your teen feels neglected at home, or is jealous of the attention a sibling is getting, he or she may steal in the hopes that he or she is caught and the focus of your attention is diverted to them. If you suspect your teen is stealing or acting out to gain your attention, it is important that you address the problem before it garners more than just your attention, and becomes part of their criminal record. Though unconventional, this is your teen’s way of asking for your help- don’t let them down!
For more information on Teen Stealing.

Sue Scheff: Helping Teens Avoid Bad Decisions – and Risky Situations

teenchoices.jpgAll kids make mistakes … but some bad choices can lead to terrible outcomes. As parents, we need to do everything in our power to help our children learn to make smart decisions. How do you help your kids learn about the consequences of a split-second decision? How do you help them avoid dangerous and risky situations?
Learn what leads kids to make bad decisions… and how parents can help with Good Kids, Bad Choices.
What is your greatest fear for your child? Car accident? Drug or alcohol addiction? Sexually transmitted disease?
 Unplanned pregnancy? Physical disability? Death? When it comes to learning how to avoid bad decisions, children need the guidance and insights that only parents can provide.
So how do parents learn what situations kids get themselves into? Why they make bad choices?
Order Good Kids, Bad Choices and find out.
You’ll see real teenagers talk about the split-second decisions they made … the terrible outcomes … and what they wish they had done instead. You’ll learn tips from experts and parenting advice about the steps you can take to help your child learn to make better decisions.
And you’ll hear the inspiration from families who can help your family – before it’s too late.
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As a parent advocate (Sue Scheff) keeping parents informed about today’s teens and the issues they face today is imperative for parents, teachers and others to continue to learn about.
Connect with Kids, like Parents’ Universal Resource Experts, brings awareness to parents and other raising with and working with today’s kids.
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(Parents’ Universal Resource Experts) Teens and Vandalism by Sue Scheff

teencrime.jpgTeens and Vandalism
The US Department of Justice defines vandalism as “willful or malicious destruction, injury, disfigurement, or defacement of any public or private property.” Vandalism can encompass many different acts, including graffiti, public unrest, rioting, and other types of criminal mischief, like breaking windows or arson. Even seemingly harmless pranks like egging and toilet papering homes are considered vandalism in most states.Unfortunately, many acts of vandalism may go unnoticed in the home, because teens can easily avoid bringing any evidence back with them. This is why it is of particular importance that parents make an effort to know where their teens are at all times. Keeping an open dialogue with your teen about his schedule and friends can help you to better keep tabs on him. A teen that knows his parents care is more likely to avoid criminally mischievous behaviors in the first place.

If you suspect your teen is engaging in vandalism, don’t be afraid to discuss your fears with your teen. While again, it is important to not be accusatory, you should leave no doubt in your teen’s mind that you believe any act of vandalism- big or small- is wrong. Often, teens think vandalism is a ‘victimless crime’; in other words, they don’t believe they’re hurting anyone by spray painting graffiti on a brick building, or tossing a few eggs at a neighbor’s car. This kind of thinking is your perfect segue into teaching your teen just how wrong vandalism can be. When your teen defiantly tells you that “nobody got hurt,” explain to them that by spray-painting the façade of his high school, they costs the taxpayers (including you) money to have the graffiti covered and the crime investigated. Remind them that the money for these repairs has to come from somewhere, and that every dollar wasted to fix vandalism is a dollar that must now be cut from somewhere else.

Maybe the school will have one less dance, or will be forced to cut out arts programs or programs for under privileged students. If your teen has been egging homes, point out the waste of food that some families cannot even afford. Remind them that someone will have to scrape the dried egg off your neighbor’s windshield, possibly making him late for work, costing him time and money.

Read more about Criminal Mischief with TeensClick Here.

Do you have a struggling teen? At risk teens? Defiant Teen? Teen Depression? Problem Teen? Difficult Teen? Teen Rage? Teen Anger? Teen Drug Use? Teen Gangs? Teen Runaways? Bipolar? ADD/ADHD? Disrespectful Teen? Out of Control Teen? Peer Pressure?

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