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Nipping A Cheater In The Bud

The lesson of integrity is an important one to pass on to your children, and one way it may be learned is by facing the consequences of cheating on a test. Also, when it comes to a fractured family, it behooves a parent not to "leak" emotionally on their children. The Saturday Early Show's Mike Riera addresses both of these issues.
My Cheatin' Daughter

Dear Mike,

My daughter is 15 years old and going to private school. I found crib notes where she cheated on a test at school in the pocket of her jeans that I had in the wash.

What should I do for punishment that will keep her from doing this in the future?


Nothing you do will give a 100 percent guarantee that she'll never do this again.

Some would say she wanted to get caught. I'm not sure, but she did get caught, and that's what is important here.

If you have a question for Mike Riera about dealing with your teen, send an email to with "Ask Mike" in the subject line. Or write to "Ask Mike" The Saturday Early Show, 514 West 57th St., 6th floor, New York, N.Y. 10019. Your question may be featured on future shows.
You must act. Your integrity is on the line here just as much as your daughter's.

I suggest you confront your daughter. Be gentle; the crib sheet in your hands will speak volumes. Hear her out. Ask her why, and she'll have many reasons. There are many reasons to cheat, but only one reason not to cheat: integrity.

Tell her you need to let the teacher know. Ask her if she wants to tell the teacher herself or have you do it.

Hold your mud. Even if it costs her a grade or two, it's worth it. Having been caught is the best opportunity to stop the habit of cheating. Let her know this.

Explaining Family Fractures To A Tot

Dear Mike,

My 3-year-old son is always dying for attention, due to a new baby sister.

Now my husband and I are separating.

How do I explain this to a 3-year-old in a way he will understand and not damage his already interrupted life any further?

The extra-attention needs are from the baby sister and the distancing that is occurring between you and your husband. Kids pick up on this, time and time again.

You need support for yourself, so you don't leak over onto the kids. The key here is age-appropriate information I advise visiting

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