Step Call Cheating on the Spot

Most kids will cheat at something; whether they continue to do so often depends on how we respond. In fact, if your goal is to raise your kid to be honest and fair, then you must respond.

Here is what you should do when confronting your kid's cheating:

• Don't overreact. Stay calm, and do not overreact.Yes it is hard, but it's the best way to respond.

• Tell what you saw or heard. "I just saw you move your game piece.That's cheating." Be brief. State your observation, and stick to facts.

• Be private. It's best to cite your observations quietly to your child. Public accusations of cheating usually only aggravate the situation, and your kid will most likely deny the accusation.

• Focus on the attitude. Do not label your kid "a cheater" or "a liar." It is counterproductive. Focus on the child's action, not his character:"Moving the ball is cheating.""Copying your friend's answers is cheating."

• Convey your expectation. Tell your kid that you expect him to play fairly by the rules if you are going to continue to play. Be brief but also clear with your expectations for honesty. Here are a few examples: "Let's play fair." "We agreed to stick to the rules.""Let's shake that we'll play fairly."

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