Parent-Child Communication Can Curb Cheating

A new survey indicates just how common cheating is in public schools. The ABC News Primetime poll finds that more than 70 percent of teenagers say students in their school cheat on tests, and almost as many say cheating on homework is prevalent.

Also, a third of the students surveyed said they would be more likely to cheat if they knew they would never get caught. And, according to the poll, only a third of students said they have had a serious talk with their parents about cheating.

Mark Fey, education analyst for Focus on the Family, finds the poll's revelations significant, especially the indication that most parents and children never talk about the issue of cheating. He insists that, although there may be many reasons why this failure of communication is happening, there can be no excuse for it.

“This is another example of the breakdown that we're seeing at the family level. Parents increasingly are overwhelmed with their responsibilities,” Fey says, “and quite frankly, as a generation, we're dropping the ball with giving our kids the foundation to not only do the right thing, but know why to do the right thing.”

The education expert notes that there are a lot of pressures on parents and children everywhere in modern society. But he warns parents that their failure to be proactive in shaping their children's values will create an opportunity for other influences.

Fey points to the ABC News poll's finding that students who have friends that cheat are more tempted and more likely to cheat themselves. But he says the fact that kids' friends can be “that negative an influence” is no surprise to pro-family analysts since peer influence has been shown to be a primary factor in cheating.

“In fact,” Fey adds, “we know that kids are not very good at raising themselves and raising each other, so when we defer to the peer group for our kids to get their set of values or not, this is what we end up with.”

Focus on the Family's education analyst says parents ultimately have the right and the responsibility to provide their children with an education that can create a moral foundation for their lives.

(This article courtesy of Agape Press.)

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