Cheating has many forms. Your teen may only think of cheating as looking at a fellow students test answers and using them for their own. This is definitely cheating but there are many other things that are considered cheating that you should talk about with your teen.
Other forms of cheating are:
Using any written materials that were written by anyone else. This includes, books, Internet, Magazines, peers, or any other forms.
Fabricating any data or sources or quoting any made up data or source.
Obtaining exam answers from any source. Whether you use them or not, these should not be in your possession.
Working in a group on anything that was meant to be an individual assignment. It is always a good idea to do your own work unless told by an instructor that you can work in groups.
Taking a test for someone else or having someone take a test for you.
Being part of any of these, no matter your role is a form of cheating.
In late October of this year the Josephson Institute of Ethics released the findings of a study that showed startling realities in regards to the way our teens regard cheating and honesty. This study was vast in nature and the conclusion revealed that teens who take part in cheating and other dishonesty while in their youth are more likely to be dishonest to an employer, more likely to lie to a spouse or cheat on taxes.
One thing stood out in particular. The study found that this generations of teens felt like in order to survive in the world or get ahead, you were going to have to lie or cheat at some point. This is a stark contrast to subsequent generations that believe that good character is a worth while endeavor. Some of the teens in the study didn’t even recognize copying test answers as cheating.
What could this mean for you and your teen? This could mean that if strong character traits such as honesty are not taught in the home and teens don’t have the self esteem to stand up for what they think is true, we are in trouble as a society. Parents need to be having discussion in the home about why these traits that have to do with honesty are needed in the world. There also needs to be consequences in place for when teens decide to make a wrong choice. Dishonesty should not be tolerated. Parent contracts can open the discussion between parents and teens and help to clarify what consequences are in place for the household. These parent contracts also clear up the expectations of the teen.