A few years ago, a mother came to me really worried about her 2nd grade daughter. Earlier that week when she went to pick her daughter up from school, the little girl was devastated.
She soon learned that her daughter had pulled out a “cheat sheet” during a test and got caught. Instead of making a scene in front of the other students, the teacher gave her a zero. Regardless, the daughter was upset.
When the mother told her husband what had happened, he laughed. Apparently their daughter had told him in the car in the morning, “I am going to cheat today. Cheating is popular at school”.
At the time, he had been distracted by his own thoughts, so he didn’t think much about her statement. In retrospect, he realized he should have said something, but thought it humorous that his 7-year-old would tell him she planned to cheat in advance.
Unsure how to respond to the situation, the mother asked me for some input. So here is what I said, “Instead of being hard on your daughter, have a conversation with her about the cheating. Ask questions like, ‘What was that about?’ ‘How did you feel?’ ‘What lessons did you learn?’” I encouraged her to see the humor in the situation, but also to deepen the learning.
As parents, we often take incidents such as the one above so seriously. It is important to calmly take a step back and remember that when our kids make mistakes, we must help them learn from their mistakes so that they can make better choices later on. Reflection is critical. Helping our children process situations will enable them (and ourselves) to grow socially and emotionally.
Gonan is the originator of the philosophies behind Gozamm, the home of the Parentology, Trust and Open Heart workshops. An industry thought-leader and a perennial innovator, Gonan is setting trends in the realms of families and business worldwide. Her eclectic background; being born in Turkey, married to a Swede, having lived in the Middle East for 25 years and now living in California, she truly brings a new dynamic perspective to an important field. -- view all articles