At some point in their academic careers, most students are tempted to cheat. If your student has been caught cheating, you should use it as an opportunity to educate them on the consequences of not doing your own work. You may be disappointed, but it’s vital that you find out the reasons for the behavior as this will influence your response.
Ask the right questions
Getting answers to your questions may require some patience. If students are afraid or anxious, they may clam up. Instead, approach the situation calmly and logically rather than emotionally.
Ask them why they cheated. Did they cheat because they hadn’t prepared for the test? Did they cheat because they feel like a bad grade would get them into trouble? Did they cheat because of their own high expectations?
Explain that a bad grade will not result in the end of the world, but that only hard work will get them the rewards they are looking for.
Cheating isn’t a big deal, everyone does it…
If your student doesn’t think that cheating is a big deal, you have to explain the consequences of not doing your own work or having the knowledge that you need to do a job well. Understanding that studying is a how we acquire the necessary life skills for a successful career is essential. You also need to examine and discuss the moral implications of cheating.
Ask the right questions: Where do they get their ideas from? Are their friends influencing them negatively? Perhaps it’s time for some new friends or for them to learn to stand up to their friends.
Are they getting these ideas from you? Do you often do your student’s homework or projects for them? Perhaps this is where they are getting the idea that it’s ok to hand in work that isn’t your own or take credit for things you didn’t do yourself.
If peer pressure is the problem, then role play situations that your students may find themselves in so that they know how to react in the future.
Prevention is better than cure
Once your student knows how to deal with their peers in a cheating situation, work together with your student’s tutor to improve their study schedule. Helping your student to be more organized will mean that they are prepared for future tests and won’t need to cheat.
If your child doesn’t have an in-home tutor, consider getting them a tutor for one-on-one help. If they are falling behind, don’t understand the material or are feeling overwhelmed, they are more likely to be tempted to cheat.
Communicate with your student and her teacher to discuss the situation, the consequences of cheating and how to move beyond the incident to a more positive future.