Cheating – is it ever OK?
The cheating scenario depicts something most people have wrestled with at some time in their lives. Whether it is writing answers on their arms before tests (guilty!), or catching sight of your neighbour’s hand during a card game. We are told at school and at home that cheating is wrong. But how does a child reconcile that hard and fast rule with seeing their parents bending rules to save money. As depicted in the scenario, the father expects his son to be complicit in lying about his age, so his dad can pay a lower ticket price. Is that behaviour comparable to cheating on a test so your parents will be pleased with you? What other situations are children confronted with where they are tempted to cheat or see their parents cheating?
What about sport?
Opportunities for cheating often present themselves during games. In sport, your team is penalised if the referee catches you — but often a ‘professional foul’ is met with audience approval! ‘Getting away with it’ is seen as a thrill and part of the fun. Some forms of cheating are just viewed as risk-taking and only have consequences when the perpetrator is caught. Drugs in sport, is another very common form of cheating and children should be encouraged to discuss this and what the consequences are for the athletes and their competitors. Cheating can be defined as giving someone an unfair advantage through dishonest behaviour. It can also be breaking promises, tacit or spoken.
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