Instead, experts suggest setting aside time to talk and really listen to your child. Ask your child what happened. Then follow these guidelines:

  • Find out why he felt the need to cheat. Is he afraid of what you will do if he gets a bad grade?

  • If your child is fearful, make sure she knows that low grades would not be the end of your love for her. You would be more concerned than angry.

  • If your child cheated because of his own high expectations, tell him not to put too much emphasis on grades. Grades don’t reflect a person’s worth or intelligence.

  • If your child thinks cheating is “no big deal,” tell her it is wrong. Cheaters rob themselves of really learning the material and are also unfair to honest students.

  • If your child let someone cheat, find out why. Was he afraid this person wouldn’t like him? Let your child know that a real friend would never reject someone for not doing what he wants.

  • Help your child role-play turning down an invitation to cheat: “I’d like to help you, Sandy, but I don’t like cheating. Besides, we could get into a lot of trouble.”

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