There’s a cheating epidemic in schools these days. According to ethics expert Michael Josephson, 30-percent of students cheat in elementary school. In middle school, it jumps to half. And by high school, 75-percent of students say they’ve cheated. So, here’s how to teach your kids to do the right thing:

  • First: Don’t over-schedule them. Kenneth Shore wrote The Parents’ Public School Handbook. And he says kids who dash from one activity to another simply don’t have time to study which increases the chances that they’ll find unethical ways to cut corners. And well-meaning parents compound the problem by being a too hands-on with things like science projects and research papers. Which sends the message that presenting someone else's work as your own is OK. It also suggests that learning is less important than the grade you get. 

  • Another way to keep your kids from cheating: Prepare them for peer-pressure. Mark Terry is president of the National Association of Elementary School Principals. And he says that by middle school, most children are being pressured by their friends to help them cheat. Say, by sharing test answers, or letting the cheater read over their shoulder. Your best bet: Help your kids rehearse ways to say, “No.” For example, “I can’t. My dad would ground me forever if he found out.”

  • Finally: Adjust your message. Parenting expert and real-life mom Lisa Endlich Heffernan says you DON’T want to tell your kids that cheaters always gets caught. Because with today’s smartphone technology, cheating is so easy that kids are getting away with it every day. Instead, emphasize that cheating goes against your family’s values. And even if they get away with it in class – there will be serious consequences at home.