3 Ways Parents Unknowingly Pressure Their Kids to Cheat

What do your kids think about cheating?  Even if you’ve never asked them, you can tell a lot about their cheating philosophy by how they live.

Most parents would never intentionally encourage their children to cheat.  But cheating kids are often good kids who sense an unspoken expectation from their parents to achieve, no matter what it takes.

1. They put too much pressure on them.   Picture this, Abby is a good student and an overall good kid.  She does her best, but sometimes, it seems like her best isn’t good enough for her mom.  “Abby, you should’ve made an A on this quiz.  If you don’t pull up your grade you’re not going to Maddy’s sleepover!”  Or, you can have a kid like Kyle.  His mom expects him to excel, just like his sisters and brother did when they were in his grade.  She doesn’t say the same kinds of things to him that Abby’s mom says, but he still feels the pressure to be the best.

So on their next quiz, what do Abby and Kyle do?  They cheat, to make sure they make the grade their moms expect.

To avoid this, make sure you keep communication open with your child.  “Kyle, you know I want you to do your best, but if you don’t get the best grade on this quiz, it’s okay, as long as you do your best.  Don’t ever be afraid to tell me if you’re struggling.  If you are, I’ll figure out how to help you.”

You can also have your child take the I Will Not Cheat Pledge.  It will give you and your child the chance to talk about your expectations.

2. They don’t hold them accountable.  Ethan’s mom doesn’t really worry about how he does in school because he’s pretty self-motivated.  So she doesn’t really notice when he’s not studying for tests.  When he gets a good grade, she just figures he studied to earn it.

Some kids cheat to avoid having to do the work to get the grade.  Why study for a test when you can look at someone else’s paper?  So be sure that your child’s grades match the effort he’s putting into getting them.  If things don’t add up, address the subject with your child.

3. They equate their child’s worth with success.  Victoria is a pretty laid back kid.  She’s not the smartest one in her class, but she’s not in the lowest performing group either.  She’s comfortable with herself and her achievements.  Her mom is not.  “Why can’t you be more like Sasha?  You’re never going to get into an Ivy League college!  You’re going to wind up at the state university!”

Victoria’s mom measures her daughter’s worth by how well she does in school.  She doesn’t see Victoria’s other good traits.  She might not ever be Valedictorian, but she’s hard-working, kind, and honest… at least up until now.  But if she feels like her mother will only value her if she makes better grades, she might end up cheating. 

© 2012 iMOM. All Rights Reserved. Family First, All Pro Dad, iMOM, and Family Minute with Mark Merrill are registered trademarks.