Parents are often seen as sources of motivation and encouragement to their child's studies in school. However, at present, students feel their parents are major sources of the pressure to cheat. Due to the pressure parents place on their children, students have a hard time controlling their temptation to look at their friend's test or copy down all the homework answers. Parents hold some of the responsibility for their children cheating in school. First of all, parents are overstressing the importance of grades. For example, they constantly add pressure onto their child's back by excessively checking their grades online or by always asking their teacher how their child is doing. This makes the student feel like it is a requirement for them to perform well in school. Parents even mention grades in everyday conversations, asking their child what they scored on the test last week. By adding this kind of pressure, it can cause emotional effects within students such as fear or anxiety. Parents are also teaching students that grades are all that matter in life instead of valuing the importance of accumulating knowledge. An example of this is shown in the Dateline clip, "My Kid Would Never Do That: Cheating," when Sasha, a participant, looked at the answer key and justified it by saying, "They're gonna be like, 'Ooh, they're really smart'" (LlamaBlu). This quote shows that the participants want to seem smart and impress their parents by getting onto the show. This situation is similar to when students want to meet their parents' standards by getting good grades. One letter does not simply change a student's future.
Secondly, parents realize the increasing competition with other students. Besides getting good grades, they feel the need to push their child to participate in many extracurricular activities as well. They believe that their child needs to stand out from the others in order to be successful. Students are overwhelmed by having to invest their time in outside activities in addition to finishing their load of work from school. This time limitation can often lead to copying homework answers or cheating on tests due to the lack of study. The consequences of this lack of time can be shown in Colleen Wenke's essay called "Too Much Pressure" when she mentions, "The students who are trying to juggle too many activities are resorting to compromising their integrity for a good grade" (534). This shows the extent of how desperate most students are when they are determined to be successful. When people feel pressured or intimidated, it is difficult for them to tell their parents about how they are feeling. Finally, students want to be successful in school for their parents instead of for themselves. This occurs because we spend our early years looking up to and spending most of our time with our parents. We rely on them to help guide us through many obstacles. Despite disagreements that many have, students will try to please their parents by listening to what they have to say. When it comes to education, we maintain that close relationship. Once a student gets a good test grade, for example, the student will desire that positive feeling from the parents when it is revealed to them. However, the student should really be proud for a bright future, not because of his or her parent's reaction. Most students feel that they cannot get high test scores on their own, so they rely on cheating to assist them through the tests. Parents have to take some of the responsibility for cheating in schools. There are some who disagree that parents are pushing their child too hard, and that parents are only trying to motivate the student to have a good future. This argument is invalid for parents because many of them act and speak in a way that they think is best for their child. However, as time moves on, the child will begin to feel the accumulation of pressure piling onto them. This is why I firmly believe that parents often dramatize the true importance of good grades. In addition, the rising competition among students has forced parents to promote more extracurricular activities which causes time management issues. Also, students are motivated by their parents instead of themselves. Cheating has continued over the years but eventually, this problem can be fixed when parents first begin to change their attitude toward school.