Teenager in Handcuffs

Why Do Teenagers Steal? How Do I Handle My Teen if They Are Caught Stealing?

Continued From: “Help! My Teenager was Caught Stealing.  How Should I Handle the Situation?
ID-10082529Parents have you ever received a call from mall security or the police department letting you know that they just caught your teenager stealing?  If so, you aren’t alone and you aren’t the first parent who has had to deal with this type of behavior.  It is important that you handle the situation in a calm and loving manner so that you don’t push your teenager away.  In fact, if you do find out that your child is stealing or suspect that they are it is important that you find out the underlying issue that is motivating them to steal.

Disclosure:  The story above is fictional and was used as an illustration so that parents can understand how to deal with a similar situation.  Please seek help from a licensed counselor or psychiatrist for additional help.  This post is for informational purposes only.

Why Do Teenagers Steal?

Teenagers steal for a variety of reasons and you should expect to hear one the following reasons, as their excuse for stealing, when you confront them for their actions:  they really wanted an item but didn’t have money for it, they felt that you wouldn’t buy them the item that they really wanted because you usually say no to their requests (don’t give into everyone one of your child’s wants because you don’t want to create a sense of entitlement but you want them to realize that you understand that clothes and electronics is important to them), they did it out of boredom and wanted to create some excitement, they wanted to assert their sense of independence(even though it was a bad choice), they wanted attention from their parents, that they gave into peer pressure or their friends dared them to do it, or they wanted to get revenge or harm someone else.

Continue Reading: How to Deal with Your Teenager if You Suspect that They are Stealing?


4 responses to “Why Do Teenagers Steal? How Do I Handle My Teen if They Are Caught Stealing?”

  1. Deanna Avatar

    Great post! Fortunately I haven’t had to deal with this and I hope I never do, but I feel your advice is dead on! So many parents today don’t even hold their child accountable for their actions or believe their child would never do anything like this. Well, not all do, but it does happen…a lot! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Lorii Abela Avatar

    Parents do really take a great role in leading their children not to steal. And partly they could also be blamed. But what about those teenagers who do not have parents or guardians, who will lead them?

    1. Christy Avatar

      I would hope that those teenagers would have friends parents who care and will at least listen. But those kids, who’s parents don’t care what they do are the ones that cause the problems.

  3. Sharon O'Day Avatar

    It has to be particularly difficult these days, with the onslaught of media and peer pressure on kids to keep up. I know we had far less pressure, and I still knew kids who took things … Is there something in their early messaging that helps guide them towards or away from that behavior? I wonder …