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Cheating: 7 Best Ways for Parents to Raise Kids to Be Honest

By Jean Tracy, MSS

Is cheating okay if it helps your children succeed? Research from a few years ago tells us 64% of high school students cheated on exams. Some studies say the number is higher.

Not all the kids were lazy. Smart kids cheated too. They wanted their parents to be happy with their good grades. Would your child have cheated? Today we'll share 7 parenting tips for promoting honesty.

7 Parenting Tips for Inspiring Kids to Be Truthful:

1. Avoid demanding good grades. Rather ask, "How did you feel during the test?" The goal is to avoid making top grades so important. If your child senses you're only interested in good grades, he may turn to cheating to please you.

2. Listen to both the teacher's side and your child's side, if she is caught cheating. Avoid criticizing the teacher or making alibis for your child. Tell your daughter to come up with a penalty for cheating. She may come up with a harder one than yours.

3. Use the word ‘You,'"Are you happy with how you studied for your exam?" It's much better than saying, "I'm pleased with you." Why? You want him to become motivated from within rather than make you happy.

4. Praise effort rather than grades. "I admire how hard you worked on that science project."

5. Promote motivation from within by asking, "How did you organize your report into such great subtitles?" Your kids, like everyone, love talking about what they've done. Ask your son how he decided to arrange his work in a certain way. When he tells you, you'll find out how he thinks. This will help you understand how his character is evolving.

6. Encourage truthfulness from the time your child is young. Use family meetings and discuss slogans about honesty. On Sunday have family members choose a motto for the week. Give high fives to anyone who uses the motto. Here are some samples sayings:


a. Be true to yourself.
b. Being truthful is the brave thing to do.
c. Playing fair builds trust.
d. Cheaters create their own problems.
e. Honest people are trustworthy.


7. Teach your child to listen to her inner guide (conscience) as her best friend. Advise her to listen to its voice. Her inner guide can be pictured as a beloved pet, a wise person, her loving heart, even a cartoon character. It's up to her.

At bedtime ask her to close her eyes and imagine what her guide looks like. Say, "Describe her if you can." Ask if she'd like to meet her inner guide. If she does, tell her, "I'll count backward from 10 to 1 with a breath for each number. When we get to one, imagine stepping into a safe place where your inner guide is waiting." Have her take a few minutes to be with her inner guide. Then count forward to 10 and tell her she'll be here relaxed and comfortable.

Advise her to take a few minutes every evening before she falls asleep to connect with her inner guide. Whenever she is tempted to cheat, ask her to contact her inner guide first.

Conclusion for Parenting Tips for Raising Honest Children

Use the 7 ways to promote honesty in your child. Create family mottoes. Introduce your kids to their inner guides. Avoid demanding top grades. Praise effort. Urge them to focus on their inner motivation. Use the word ‘you' to attend to what your children did. Don't create alibis if your children do cheat. Finally, when you encourage your children to build honest characters, you won't have to worry about them becoming a member of the cheating 64%.

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