Sarah helps single parents, schools and companies connect,engage and motivate young people in a way that gets long lasting results. What to do if your child is caught cheating?
Why are we so surprised when children cheat? Did we not all do it; if there is a quicker way to do something won’t we all give it a go? It is human nature to find a quicker way of doing something that uses less energy but gets the same results. Back in our cave days it made lots of sense for us to do this. However morally, it leaves us with an issue as parents. How do we get the point across about teaching without putting our children off trying things in a quicker more efficient way?
I am dead against us saying "Cheating is bad" to our children. To me it does not give the child enough information to make a future decisions when faced with a similar dilemmas.
So if your child is caught cheating what should you do?
- First of all, don’t panic. It does not mean your child will fail in life or become a bum on the street corner. It is something quite normal that every child (and adult for that matter) does.
- Ask them what they wanted to achieve by cheating…..was it to get a better grade, was it to put in less work , was it they did not have time, was it to stop the teacher shouting at them? What was it? What was the reason behind the cheating?
- Ask them how they could have got what they wanted without cheating. How could they have got more time/a better grade without cheating?
- What might lure them back to cheating, what may tempt them to do it again and how can they ensure that it does not happen?
- Ask them what they think about cheating, what are the advantages and disadvantages of it? Come on, we cannot say it is all bad. It does for example save time, with that we cannot argue. Talk about the consequences of advantage and disadvantage. A consequence of choosing not to may be having to spend more time studying, a consequences of choosing to cheat may be that you leave school not really knowing anything fully.
- Ask them what they will choose to do next time. The word choose is important here, there is a choice.
If the child is a little bit older you can talk to them about the law regarding copyright, etc. so they can get a real feel for what it means.
As for a consequence most often getting caught and the humiliation is enough and will stop any child really doing it again to any great degree. So if it is the first time, then let the consequences of getting caught be enough. If it continues then you really need to look at the root of the problem and step in a deal with that.
And there has been some research in the UK that has stated lying and cheating are signs of a creative intelligent child!
Richard “RJ” Jaramillo, is the Founder of SingleDad.com,
a website and social media resource dedicated to single parenting and specifically for the newly divorced, re-married, widowed and single Father with children.
RJ is self employed, entrepreneur living in San Diego and a father of three children. The mission of SingleDad is to help the community of Single Parents
“Make Life Happen…Again!”