Where would the future of this nation be in a couple of years from now when those believed to take over from the older generations are in their cocoon strategizing on the best possible ways to out-smart their teachers and come out tops with their cheating habits? I’m as surprised as you are when I saw the staggering statistics: a survey of over 12,000 teenagers across the United States shows that 7 out of 10 teens cheated during a test this past year.
1. Teens cheat because they think there is no wrong attached to it
Take, for instance, Trent. He was having a hard time with Spanish, and as a way to lessen his struggle, he was introduced to this great website. It was as if he found the missing the link and within a twinkle of an eye, he completed his homework, with more accuracy and panache. If he had used his text and dictionary, the output would have been less than what it turned out to be. Trent would rather be dumbfounded if you label him a cheater with this act.
2. Teens cheat because they are too busy.
Three days a week, Search makes it a point of duty to visit a nearby mall. Sarah is a member of staff and works there until she closes. She has her extra-curricular activities well cut out, where she usually has a gymnastics and a singing lesson to attend to once a week at different times. It doesn’t end there; she does cheerleading —at least two Saturdays every month— and even babysitting of her younger brother. But the stress is overwhelming, so she teams up with a study group on Sunday afternoon. They share among themselves the homework so it can be done more quickly. Though Sarah in her admission says it is cheating, but also added that it is a matter of survival. If everybody in her group does this, then you can imagine how bad it is. At least, Sarah study group don’t cheat on a test.
3. Teens cheat because it’s an easy way out.
Todd is a student of a large regional school. Even some of his teachers can’t claim they know his name. Most of his tests are designed in such a way to spend less effort while grading them in a fast manner or use the computer to grade them. With this option adopted, it meant the test would be a multiple choice question and short- answer tests. But Todd and his friends had other plans. They had perfected their strategy on how to share the answers. And someone will smuggle the extra copy of the test to a friend later on. When Todd was asked what he thinks about cheating, his response was that the teachers had a big part to play. According to him, if schools were concerned about students helping each other on tests, the teachers will make it so difficult for sharing of answers.
4. Teens cheat because of the intense pressure.
Shelly wanted to attend a law school—and not any kind of law school. She has narrowed down her choice to the best few in the nation. The tuition is far beyond her parents reach hence the competition for the limited scholarship funds is very stiff. Shelly stayed stressed about the whole issue, including her parents. Unsure of what her parents’ reaction would be like if she brought home a B. But does she have the slightest knowledge that she is cheating? She does and she would respond quickly. Shelly feels it is compulsory that she comes out tops in all her subject and includes so many extracurricular activities to make her Resume complete. And by the way, it demonstrates her versatility and how talented she is. She says she has to cheat if she must compete.
5. Teen cheats because they feel they have the best at their disposal
Mark is known for his versatility in sports every season. He has all the qualities—handsome, popular, and pretty smart. When he studies, he makes good grades, but on the other hand, he’s of the opinion that a popular athlete like him deserves more—lots of help on tests and homework. He gets too cocky about his achievement and believes it his birthright for such favors to come his way, at least, he brings so much fame to the school. Is that fair or what would you call it?
6. Teen cheats because it has been modeled in every nook and cranny
Right in the middle of a phone conversation, Chris overheard his dad with these words, “I’ll pretend to have an appointment tomorrow afternoon and meet you up at the golf course at 2:00.” Subsequently, Chris saw a sitcom that revolves around deception between friends. He opens his computer to play this new video game, but the game was too difficult for him to understand and he stumbled on dozens of websites on how to cheat to win the new game. As he probed further, seeking for more game clues, he stumbled on sites with several tips on how to cheat in school and electronic equipment that made cheating a lot easier.
The measures parents can take
Have a chat with your teens and let them understand the negative implications of cheating. Though they may share in that belief that copying another student’s test paper is wrong, but not have the same understanding that downloading an entire report from the internet is improper and should not be condoned
Make your teen understanding that cheating connotes everything negative like stealing and lying, and is not acceptable in God’s eyes- that will be quite effective a logic and deter them from indulging. Discuss the negative effects of lying and cheating and how it affect relationships with adult, peers, and ultimately with God.
Practice what you preach
Do you consider helping your teens with their homework or project? Do tend to be economical with the truth? Do you tell lies while your teens stare at you endlessly? If that be the case, your teens with find it difficult putting the pieces together between your actions and you rendering support in the course of their homework completion. When you’re dishonest, you‘re dishonest; there are no two ways about it.
Teach and encourage a healthy competition
Teach your teen that the “winning- at- all cost” mentality should be discarded. Teens may not like cheating, but because they want to impress you and make the honor roll, they are tempted to cheat. Make sure you reward any improvement made by your teen and never let your teen feel less of a human for not making good grades. It will be quite appropriate if you can be as realistic as ever with regards to your child’s ability and don’t push your experience too high. There’s a defining line between pressurizing and encouraging every child.
Stay connected and involved
This is the only way you can know about the pressures your teens are facing, the solution they intend to proffer, and the ideas about how to achieve their goals. With great help, you can change that attitude of cheating to great effort rendered towards their education.