When Kids Cheat …

woman sitting next to table and right hand on ear
Photo by George Dolgikh on Pexels.com

Kids cheating in school is not a new trend. Cheating has been happening as long as there were teachers and students and facts to learn.

Earlier this year, ABC news did a survey of 12-17 year-olds and came up with some recent statistics on cheating.

Seven in 10 say that they know kids in their school who have cheated.

One out of three say that they’ve cheated.

Forty-three percent of older teens say that they’ve at least occasionally cheated.

Twelve percent say that most kids in their school cheat.

Kids say they cheat because their friends cheat.

One third of them have had a talk with their parents about cheating.

Three out of ten will cheat if they think the teacher doesn’t care.

Sixteen percent will cheat if they don’t think the class is that important.

Another interesting finding is that most kids realize that cheating is wrong.

As believers, we want to raise our kids to have integrity. So what do we do? (These principles can be used with both our own kids and the kids we teach.)

  1. Recognize that we need to have the conversation. We need to explain why cheating is wrong. Paul clearly states to Titus that integrity is a priority subject when we’re training young men and women. (Titus 2)
  2. Pray with the kids. Pray that they’ll have the courage to live honestly and make good choices.
  3. Talk about the people who would be hurt by their cheating: The Lord, themselves, parents, teachers, classmates. Cheating could also have future ramifications if they get a good grade that they don’t deserve and in doing so, earn a scholarship, an acceptance to an honor program or a job.
  4. Explain what plagiarism is. Many don’t know. Explain that goes for copying research papers that are offered online for free or for a price.
  5. Don’t help your child cheat by doing his homework for him.
  6. Don’t pressure your child to get good grades to such an extent that he cheats to save himself from your anger. (At the same time, we can encourage kids to do the best that they can.)
  7. Use board games to teach the concept of honesty to younger children. Play together as a family (or class). Don’t let a child take eight letters instead of seven “because he’s young.” Teach the importance of rule-following from a young age.
  8. Support the consequences of cheating. If your child receives a zero because she cheated, don’t argue with the teacher.
  9. Let your child know that someone else copying his answers is just as bad as copying theirs.
  10. Make honesty a godly characteristic that you teach your kids and exemplify to them from a young age.

Here are some verses (and there are many more) that you might want to study together. Genesis 18:19; Exodus 20:16; Leviticus 19:11;Psalm 51:6; Proverbs 6:16-20; Proverbs 10:9; Proverbs 12:22; 2 Corinthians 8:21; Philippians 4:8; Colossians 3:9-10 and Hebrews 13:17-18.