led by Dr. Lyle Becourtney, licensed psychologist: (917) 968-0965

Why Does My Teenager Steal

Why Does My Teenager Steal?
by Ron Huxley
Does your teenager have a problem stealing? Would you like to learn how to deal with the issue of your child taking things that do not belong to him? There are quite a few ways of handling this problem but the first step is to really understand your son or daughter, and why he or she is stealing in the first place.

Over the years we have found out that many teenagers steal because they believe that they are unloved and do not belong. A young teen that feels this way tends to think that they have the right to hurt other people because "nobody cares about them". And all he is trying to do is make up for that pain that they feel. This is what is called the "revenge cycle".

It is for this reason that you must make sure that your child feels loved and knows that they are wanted. Find ways to let them know that they are important to you and the rest of the family. Be sure to separate the deed from the doer and show love while working out a plan to fix the problem.

Another reason why children steal is because it seems like the only way that they can get what they want. Many parents take the idea of not spoiling their teenagers a little too far and offer nothing to them in terms of ownership.

Of course do not feel that you have to give them what they want every time your son or daughter asks for something, but rather make sure that there is a way that they can earn money or allowances from you. Set up a family system where they can take on responsibilities while at the same time earning a few dollars. This will go a long way in preventing your teenager from stealing.

Keep money from sitting out in the open. Oftentimes teens will take money because it is just laying out in the open and it is too tempting to pass up. Learn how to keep your money and your valuables out of site and in a safe place.

If you have two or more kids in the house and you suspect that one of them is stealing from each other, then start immediately to help the issue by getting them their own private lock box in order to protect their items.

Last but not least, if your teenagers are stealing from another sibling, then it may be due to jealousy in the house. Ask your children whether they believe that you favor one of them over the other. Listen attentively and do not dismiss their feelings.

Even if they think that you are indeed favoring their brother or sister, even if it is totally false, do not turn the other way. Listen to their response and discuss with them how you feel and be sure to keep the discussion in a positive manner, without criticizing them.

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