Kids sometimes make poor decisions and it is up to you, the parent, to provide the right guidance and advice. When it comes to shoplifting, providing the right guidance is crucial. While it might not seem like a major issue, a single accusation of theft can have an impact on your child’s life for many years to come.

Fortunately, you have more influence over your teen than you might think. Parents recommends the following tactics when talking to your kids about the seriousness of shoplifting and theft.

Highlight the consequences

It may be true that in the past retailers when light on teen shoplifters, but that is not the case anymore. Many businesses are cracking down and choosing to press charges against teens who steal. This is especially true when it comes to high-price items like mobile devices. Make sure your child is aware that the consequences will amount to more than just a slap on the wrist. Your child may be cuffed and taken away, which is highly embarrassing.

Pay attention to your child’s belongings

Most parents are fully aware of how much money their kids have. Accordingly, if you see your teen with expensive items, such as designer shoes and clothing, you probably know whether they had enough money to purchase it themselves. Playing an active role in the life of your kids deters wrongdoing, but it also establishes that they can come to you when in need of help.

Discuss the moral implications

Do good people steal? This is a great question to ask your child if he or she expresses ambivalence about theft. Stealing from a retail store is not a victimless crime. It affects the business owner as well as staff, who may be let go if the store loses too much money. It is also wrong to take something that is not yours, regardless of the situation. Most kids have good hearts, they just might not have considered the moral consequences of stealing.