10 Reasons Why Cheating is Wrong
- 70% of teens say at least some kids in their school cheat on tests.
- 60% have friends who have cheated.
- 30% say they themselves have cheated, rising to 43% of 16- and 17-year-olds.
- More than 50% say cheaters don’t get caught.
In our previous blog, Cheating in School, we provided several facts, consequences, and prevention tips for adolescent cheating. In today’s blog, we wanted to offer parents some specific ideas for talking to your teen about cheating.
You can print out these ten reasons to give to your teen and use them as a way to open a discussion.
Top Ten List for Why Cheating is Wrong
- Cheating is the same as lying and stealing. Each time you hand in schoolwork, you are basically telling the teacher that you completed that work on your own. That’s either true or, if you cheated on the work, it’s lying. Cheating is also stealing because you are taking someone else’s work and calling it your own.
- Cheating causes stress. When you cheat, you inevitably worry about getting caught. The stress of getting caught increases when you consider the possible consequences of your actions, such as getting in trouble at home or receiving disciplinary actions from the school. Even worse, you may have to develop a story to cover up your cheating, which can lead to getting trapped in a web of lies because it’s so difficult to keep your story straight when it never happened. It can be very stressful if you get caught in a lie, or if you thinks someone knows about your cheating and might tell someone else.
- Cheating is unfair to others. Have you ever played a game by the rules only to have a friend who was so intent on winning that they cheated? Cheating is very frustrating when you are playing by the rules. When you cheat in school to get better grades, it’s unfair to the kids who actually studied and did the work. You may also receive unfair recognition for the better grade, when it is not deserved.
- Cheating is unfair to you. Accomplishment feels good and helps build self-esteem and self-confidence. When you cheat, you are basically telling yourself that you do not believe in your own abilities. You might get an A on a test or an assignment, but you’ll know that you really didn’t earn it. Cheating just makes you feel bad about yourself.
- Cheating hampers progress. Learning tends to build on itself. You learn basics first so that you can use those basics in more complicated problems later. If you don’t know the basics, then you will have to continue to cheat, or start over learning the material from scratch. Every time you cheat, you’re not learning skills and lessons that could be important later on.
- Cheating is disrespectful. Teachers work hard to share knowledge to help you be successful in academics, career, and life. Cheating shows a lack of respect for the efforts of your teacher and your classmates who did the work.
- Cheating kills trust. It only takes getting caught cheating one time to ruin trust. Even if you never cheat again, those in authority will always have a hard time trusting you and will likely be suspicious of your work. When others hear about your cheating, their opinion of you will be compromised.
- Cheating can become a habit. People who cheat don’t usually do it one time. It becomes a habit that follows people throughout college and into their careers. Just like gambling or stealing, cheating can become a part of who you are and spread into other areas of your life. Cheaters tend to lose perspective as to what is acceptable behavior and demonstrate a disregard for others.
- Cheating eventually leads to failure. By skipping the hard work involved in learning, you will never develop the important traits of persistence, dedication, diligence, and sacrifice. Success takes hard work, and cheating is the easy way out. Eventually, you will find that it is difficult to achieve your goals without these important skills.
- Cheating is embarrassing. Your actions define who you are to those around you. When you cheat, you are expressing yourself to others as lazy, incompetent, untrustworthy, selfish, unintelligent, and disrespectful. In addition, many schools are developing tougher stances on cheating. Imagine your embarrassment when you are suspended for cheating or you discover that school personnel informed college admissions officers of your actions.
Schools and parents must both actively discourage cheating if we have any hope of stopping this epidemic. Studies show that America is lagging behind other countries in academics. Our nation will not be globally competitive if we raise a generation of undereducated cheaters. Parents and teachers should emphasize the importance of integrity.