October 22, 2003
don't do the homework for your children
daughter came home with a story that is appalling to me.
Her friend in her English class at our local high school
turned in a paper on the Supreme Court and received the
only "A" in the class. When I told my daughter, "That's
wonderful," she took issue, and said her friend's mother
actually wrote it for her daughter, because the girl was
behind, frantic -- and besides, the girl knew her mother
would do it for her.
chance does that girl have if she always finds someone
to do her work for her? Where is our country's future
if the young children of today are taught that this form
of parental fraud is OK?
is a disappointing story. Assuming your daughter has the
facts, then we are looking at lying, cheating, stealing
and negligence. Your daughter's friend has a mother
who has abdicated leadership responsibilities as a parent
and citizen. Your daughter's friend has been taught
that cheating is OK in order to win. Some other child
has likely been denied the recognition of having created
the best paper. This is simply an awful representation
of gross negligence of parental responsibility.
daughter is being taught by this example -- to lie to
people in positions of responsibility in order to achieve
recognition. She now knows how to avoid commitments. She
is being shown how to cheat the system in order to win,
and worse, is being assisted in the fraud by her own mother.
Parental negligence is apparent. This young woman is at
risk in lots of ways.
responsibilities include teaching accountability. Poor
school habits have long-term negative consequences, and
should not be replaced by parental interference. Instead
of holding her daughter accountable, this selfish and
shortsighted mother is passing along the dishonesty that
is eating away at our society. This daughter has been
enabled to betray her responsibility to learn and to perform.
She has broken her trust with her teacher. And, her very
own mother is helping her to run even further from responsibility.
This mother and daughter need help.
you can turn this into a learning experience for your
own daughter, using it as a way to put across the values
that you obviously hold, of honesty, accountability and
character. Consider asking your daughter to think through
whether she should be associating herself with so-called
friends who lack the integrity to do their own work, and
ask her whether her cheating friend could be counted upon
to be honorable in defense of her friends? Would she ever
again trust this girl when she might be saying "I
the keystone of integrity beginning within the family,
the structures of our society are at risk. Here is the
good news: If you explain why you would never sanction
such plagiarism, your daughter will have been taught solid
values, learned to appreciate the consequences of dishonest
behavior, and see you in the light of integrity-centered