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stealing

hi sam
i am really worried . what do i do if i am with someone who steals something from a shop. i dont know what will happen to me and i am so scared. i am trying to bottle it up but is so hard, and making me really upset because i cant tell anyone. i am also worried for her, she need to stop because i dont want her to go to juvi. please help me i dont know what to do. i cant concentrate in lessons and i am scared some one will fine out and my friend who steals stuff will get in so much trouble...
what will happen to me??? please help me.
Ask Sam

Sam

Hi there,

Thanks for writing to tell me about what is going on for you. I can hear that you are really worried about what your friend is doing.

Your friend is breaking the law by stealing and could get into trouble if she was caught, but it doesn’t sound like you are doing anything wrong yourself. I think your friend is putting you in a difficult position by behaving like this and I can understand how you might be worried that people could think you are involved too.

You could talk to your friend about stealing and tell her how it’s making you feel. If she says that she wants to keep on stealing then perhaps you could ask her to not do it when you are with her.

If this doesn’t work you could also think about not being with your friend in shops when she steals. Perhaps you could stay outside or just not go to the shops with her at all. I know it can be really difficult to decide to not spend time with our friends but it's important for you to protect yourself too. Even though you aren’t doing anything wrong, there is a chance that the shopkeeper might think you are involved if you are with your friend.

You are worried about your friend and you sound like a really caring person. You could also ask your friend why she steals. She might really appreciate you taking an interest in what is going on for her. Also, if you find out a little more about why she is stealing then it might be easier to talk about ways that your friend can stop.

This problem does seem to be worrying you a lot and it is affecting your concentration at school. If you felt that you needed some more help with this problem, or even just your school worries, you could try talking with a teacher you trust. You could take a look at our tips on how to ask someone for help. You don’t have to bottle these worries up and I’m really glad that you have come to me for help.

You could also contact a ChildLine counsellor. This might be a good way to rehearse what you might say to your friend or to get more support with how you're feeling.

Take care,
Sam

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