Cheaters Don’t Prosper, Right?

I’m going to tell you a story that’s not about me.  I repeat, it’s not about me. 

I have this friend and she was checking her daughter’s homework and found that she had been doing multiplication but not showing her work.  She had questioned her daughter in the past and she knew that she had trouble with math before, so she wanted to know how she had gotten the answers.  She has a little trouble with her daughter lying, a trait she undoubtedly picked up from her father, the chimpanzee, so she could tell that the next thing that came out of her mouth was going to be a lie.  She told her daughter that she knew the truth about how she got the answer, and told her she had exactly ONE chance to tell her the truth.  My friend was praying her daughter got the answers by using a calculator, so when her daughter said she cheated off someone else in class, her jaw hung open in disbelief. 

Cheating?  Really?  Why would my friend’s daughter EVER think cheating was a way to get ahead?  My friend asked her daughter if “someone” was going to move in and help her get through the rest of her life, or stand next to her at McDonald’s and help her make change.  Are you serious?  What could she have been thinking?  So now my friend is beside herself and wondering how it all went wrong, how she could be such a bad parent, etc., etc.  She might be one of my more dramatic friends.

This all goes back to my wondering what kids think.  How they think they’re going to get through life.  What do they think they’re going to be when they grow up and how are short cuts going to get them any closer to their goals.  For my friend’s daughter, it all comes back to laziness and perception.  She didn’t want people to think she was stupid, so she didn’t ask for extra help.  Then she got behind and couldn’t think of a way to get back to where everyone else was.  She didn’t want to be in the group with the other people that didn’t understand the math because she didn’t want people to think she didn’t understand the math, even though she didn’t understand the math.  And she’s lazy.  I’m sorry, my friend, but your daughter is lazy.  And it’s possible it’s because you’re lazy too.  I know you’re taking steps to fix that, but you need to get on the ball and show her that lazy is not the way to be.  I don’t mean to be so harsh with you, my friend, but it needs to be said.

So my friend’s daughter is grounded, quite possibly, for the rest of her life.  Her hand is going to be cramping from pulling weeds and working math problems.  She might have to start doing math problems with her left hand, so her right one doesn’t fall off.  But at the end of this, she’s going to know how to do that math!

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