Dealing with shoplifting

Learn about: Dealing with shoplifting from Stephen Gray Wallace, MS Ed,...
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Dealing with shoplifting

Stephen Wallace: Young people engage in shoplifting for 3 primary reasons. Number 1, they have a need for the item and so they steal it. Number 2, they’re influenced by their peers and show off for their peers. Oftentimes, shoplifting happens in groups. And number 3 is sometimes, they don’t really think about it at all. It’s an impulsive act. It goes to that brain development in the pre-frontal cognitive, development where kids sometimes just act on the spur of the moment without a lot of rational thought behind it. Parents might suspect their children of shoplifting if they suddenly find that they have lots of new things. The parents don’t know how they got them. Or perhaps they have a lot of extra cash on him because they’re selling items which may have been shoplifted. We know that young people would often sell items online that they’ve stolen. In the even that those things happen, I think it’s important that parents explain to children the results of shoplifting. How it impacts the shop owners, how it impacts other customers who may be paying more for products to make up for products that were stolen. I think it’s also important to refer back to the family values that may discourage stealing behaviors. And certainly making sure the child apologizes and offering some form of restitution is a great path to go down.

Learn about: Dealing with shoplifting from Stephen Gray Wallace, MS Ed,...


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Stephen Gray Wallace, MS Ed

School Psychologist & Author

Stephen Gray Wallace, director of the Center for Adolescent Research and Education (CARE), has broad experience as a school psychologist and adolescent and family counselor. He is also the senior advisor for policy, research, and education at SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions), an organization he served as national chairman and chief executive officer for more than fifteen years. 

Stephen serves the Cape Cod Sea Camps as a resident camp director and the director of counseling and counselor training and the American Camp Association as a feature magazine writer, media spokesperson and faculty member at its e-Institute for Professional Development, a role he also plays for the American Academy of Family Physicians.

The White House, the American Camp Association, SADD, Camping Magazine, and the Susquehanna University Alumni Association have formally honored Stephen for being a tireless and passionate advocate for youth.

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