But cheaters are losers. They lose the pride that comes from accomplishing something yourself. They lose the chance to learn something difficult. And they can lose much more—if they get caught, they could get an F on the assignment or in the class.

Here’s what you should tell your teen about cheating:

  • The person who gets hurt the most from cheating is the one who cheats.
  • Cheating is a form of lying. There’s no way to sugarcoat the facts—if you’re a cheater, you’re also a liar.
  • Even if other people cheat, that doesn’t make it okay for you to cheat.
  • There may be some short-term benefits to cheating (you don’t have to do the homework). But in the long run, you are hurting yourself. You won’t learn the information, and you may need it later on a test or in another class.
  • If you are cheating in school, it probably means you need help in that subject. Getting help early in the year will help you succeed in the long run.
  • Telling on someone who is cheating is not tattling, especially if the cheating can hurt others. A person who cheats on a test that is graded on a curve hurts everyone else in the class.
  • It is never too late to be honest about cheating. When you admit that you have cheated, you have taken the first step toward making amends. Others will respect you for it.
  • Cheating can become a pattern. If you cheat and get away with it, you are likely to be tempted to cheat again. Sooner or later, though, you’ll get caught.

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