Teaching Our Kids Not To Cheat

Dec 8, 2015
cheating in school

Cheating is dishonest. We don’t want our children to cheat. We want them to succeed in school — honestly. So how do we instill the importance of not cheating in school in our children?

The current public school system in the U.S. rates teachers based on results rather than on performance. So, even if the instructor works hard in the classroom, if her students are slackers, she may get fired. Out of fear of this, some teachers have been caught “helping” their students pass important tests.

Although their motivation is valid — but not correct — there are teachers who stand against this and have shared their view.



    Emma G. Pineda, an elementary school teacher in Florida, says that children need to be made accountable for their actions and know that, if they cheat, they are only cheating themselves out of a successful future.

    “Every [school] year is based on a test,” Pineda says, “and if you cheat on a daily or weekly basis you will not be able to perform well on the big test and will jeopardize passing on to the next grade.”

    She is also well aware of the pressures teachers currently face to jack up their students’ grades, for the benefit of their own job security.

    “My fear is that there will be a growth of cheating by educators,” Pineda states. She explains that high scores are becoming a requirement to retain a teaching job and be awarded merit pay. This is a new era of a highly competitive, data driven education race, in which funds assigned to districts are often based on student test results and not on teachers’ performance.

    “I know every day I walk into work, a new expectation will be set on my plate. I become disillusioned each and every day and wonder where it will all end,” Pineda confesses. Still, she is adamant about being honest. “This is what I teach: ‘Do your best and it will all fall into place. I lead by example.”

    Of course, even a teacher that stands by high moral values needs to be supported by the children’s parents at home.


    Karynn Cavero, a single mom from Chicago, IL, believes that parents, not teachers, are the main models for children’s behavior.

    “[Our children] learn by observing people get away with things that are incorrect,” Cavero says. “Parents are the main influence kids have, and it is not what we do when they are watching, but what we do when they are not that truly counts. Even the little things we don’t think they are paying attention to, are always a lesson for them.”

    Cavero believes that parents who cannot spend much time with their children, perhaps because they are busy earning a living, too often let their kids be raised by electronic gadgets and strangers, which prevents them from learning proper moral values.

    “[These parents] need to find a way to reconnect with their children,” she says. “Kids learn by example and by open communication,” states Cavero. “They are most of the times smarter than parents care to admit.”


    Be involved with your kids. Ask about their day, their friends and their choices. Discuss what a better choice might have been if appropriate.
    Be involved with the school. Keep in touch with the teacher. Find out from her how your child behaves in class.
    Play out scenarios to find out how well your child will deal with a situation when faced with the opportunity to lie or cheat.
    If they fail a test, try to find out why that happened. Talk to the teacher, hire a tutor, help them find time to do their homework.
    Don’t get upset if they fail honestly. Get upset if they pass a test by cheating.
    Don’t let them get away with lying, which is another form of cheating. Discuss the consequences with them.
    Reward them with verbal positive praise each time you observe an honest action.
    Practice what you preach and teach by example. If you notice the cashier returns too much change at the register, give it back and tell your child what you just did. Every little act of honesty counts!

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