Q&A: Cheating Solution

I just responded to a parent on MomConnect.com who asked:

“My 10 year old daughter is in the Kumon math program and we just found out she has been cheating, she was trusted with the answer book and took advantage of it…how do I punish her for it?”

My answer:

Here’s a new way to look at it. Cheating, like all behaviors, is actually driven by healthy needs. When you step back and look at what this action is telling you, you can respond differently.

Your surprise at her cheating tells me she is an honest child, and honesty is already important to her. She has already learned that from you, so pat yourself on the back!

Understanding is actually what is needed to keep her on that track. So ask yourself, “What would drive an honest child to cheat?” Pressure to do better than she thinks she could on her own? Not enough time for friends and other things that are important to her?

Whatever it is, understanding it will allow you to work with her to help her find a way to allow her to meet her needs, excel at math, and continue to be the honest kid she already is.

Win – win.

And best of all, you will be using this challenging moment to build trust that will strengthen your relationship with your daughter.

1 Comment

  1. johnpruitt |

    Wonderful response and ideas! Both my twins went to Kumon and had the pressures of a college prep private school. The cheating probably always had a lure but I’m not sure. I’ll ask them now 🙂

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