Or your child gets an F on a paper because he copied a classmate’s work.
What’s a parent to do?
The first thing is to stay calm and get the facts. Ask the teacher what happened. Find out if this is a first offense, or if she sees a pattern of cheating.
Get your child’s side of the story. Perhaps there’s been a mistake and your child has been accused unfairly.
If your child admits to cheating:
- Thank him for telling the truth.
- Try to discover why. Children often cheat to try to avoid the consequences of not studying enough. Or they’re feeling pressured to perform above their skill level.
- Have your child apologize—to you, the teacher and any child whose work she copied.
- Discuss school consequences. If the teacher has given an F or zero, your child will need to study harder to offset the low mark.
- Impose a consequence of your own. Restrict something your child loves to do. Or require additional work.
- Let your child know you are disappointed that she felt she had to cheat.
- Stay alert to repeat offenses. Observe your child’s habits and homework. Make sure grades reflect your child’s efforts and skill level.
- Offer tutoring or other help if needed for your child to succeed.
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