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To Sam

i shoplifted

i shoplifted from a large chain of pharmacies. im really scared theyre going to catch me out from my college id. what should i do. i dont want my family finding out because im going to be in big trouble. im so scared, i regret doing it it was an impulse decision and ive never done this before
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Sam

Hi there,

Often we regret doing something because deep inside we know it was wrong. Everyone does wrong things from time to time, but it can help us to learn what’s right and can help us to become the person we want to be. Having regret means that you care about doing the right thing so now it’s important to learn from this and to do what you think is right.

There can be a few reasons why someone might feel the impulse to commit a crime. It can be due to peer pressure or due to other problems they might have in life.

Guilt is a natural emotion. Listening to ourselves can often encourage and motivate someone to make positive choices. It is absolutely natural to be scared about your family’s reaction. Their thoughts and reaction seem important to you.
What to do is entirely up to you, but it would be important to think about whether getting away with it is going to make you feel any better. It might be that you feel you need to do something to make amends for what you did.

One idea might be to write a letter and explain what you did – and that you regret it. You don’t have to say who it’s from or give your address. If you wanted, you could even pay for the thing you stole by sending the money with the letter. If you didn’t want to do this, maybe you could donate the cost of the thing you stole to a charity – or do both if you can afford it.

It might be worth talking this through with someone you trust. Maybe talking through how you feel with your parents can help them understand how much you learned from this situation and how deeply it’s affecting you. Doing nothing is also an option. It is important to think about what feels best for you and what you think is right.

ChildLine counsellors are here to support you if you need it. Hope this makes sense and helps you find out what is the best thing to do.

Take care,
Sam

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