All Children's Hospital Logo

Health Information Library

Parents > Q&A > Emotions and Behavior > What Can I Do to Stop My Child From Shoplifting?
What Can I Do to Stop My Child From Shoplifting?

My 16-year-old daughter was caught shoplifting recently, and I'm both devastated and worried about her. What should I do?
- Joseph

Teens might shoplift for many different reasons, including acting out, trying to look cool, rebelling, looking for attention, or because they see friends doing it. Some do it to get things that their friends have that they can't afford.

It helps to try to examine what might be causing your teen to shoplift and to talk to her about it. Try to explain that she is not just taking something from a store, but is stealing from the people who own the store, contributing to higher prices for other customers, and committing a crime that can have consequences such as a criminal record.

Many parents find that seeking professional help from a doctor or therapist is the best way to deal with a teen who has shoplifted, particularly if it has happened more than once. Mental health professionals and organizations such as the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention can provide valuable information and help.

Reviewed by: Steven Dowshen, MD
Date reviewed: July 2013

Related Articles
K    Dealing With Peer Pressure
P    Helping Kids Cope With Cliques
P    My Child Is Stealing
P    My Teen Is Breaking Rules - What Can I Do?
T    Peer Pressure
T    Shoplifting
K    Stealing
P    What Can Be Done About a Child Who Steals?
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
© 1995-2015 KidsHealth® All rights reserved. Images provided by iStock, Getty Images, Corbis, Veer, Science Photo Library, Science Source Images, Shutterstock, and

Additional Info

Pocket Doc Mobile App
Maps and Locations (Mobile)
Programs & Services
For Health Professionals
For Patients & Families
Contact Us
Find a Doctor

All Children's Hospital
501 6th Ave South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
(727) 898-7451
(800) 456-4543

Use Normal Template
© 2015 All Children's Hospital - All Rights Reserved