But here's why it's really important to teach your child not to.

By Maressa Brown
April 16, 2019
Credit: Syda Productions/shutterstock

April 16, 2019

With several celeb parents making headlines for cheating to advance their children's academic careers, the nation's curiosity on the subject has been piqued. How much of this kind of cheating goes on, why does it happen, and how is it affecting our kids? A new survey from EduBirdie, the leading online ghostwriting and proofreading platform, aimed to answer at least one of those questions with the results of a new survey. They found that 73% of C-level executives and 63% of employees have admitted to academic or professional dishonesty.

The survey also shed light on the fact that dishonesty may have helped elevate survey participants' salaries, especially among recent grads who got their degrees between May 2014 and December 2018. EduBirdie points out that, according to Glassdoor, the average entry-level salary across the United States is $28,000 per year. Of recent graduates who earned $19,999 or less per year in their first job, only 16% have admitted to dishonesty, whereas 36% of those surveyed who made between $60,001 and $80,000 per year have admitted to dishonesty, and 52% of participants who started at a salary of $100,000 or higher are dishonest.

They also took a closer look at the industries where dishonesty was most common, finding that legal professionals were most frequently dishonest (62%), followed by people working in technology (58%), education (41%), healthcare (29%), manufacturing (27%), and retail (26%).

Avery Morgan, EduBirdie Senior Editor and Director of Communications, explained that EduBird decided to conduct the study to "understand how academic or professional dishonesty can impact someone's development and overall earning potential, especially following the recent scandal with Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman." She elaborated, "There is a lot of pressure to get into the best universities and perform at the highest level, and this type of pressure is often unbearable for students or young professionals entering the workforce. While the correlation between higher starting salaries and dishonesty is surprising, leaders put immense pressure on themselves and either cannot cope, or feel asking for help isn't the honest way to work."

Of course there's a lesson for parents here. Although everyone wants their child to grow up to be both an upstanding, honest person and successful, it seems that parents would do well to lean into the former over the latter.

Susan Stiffelman, MFT, an educational therapist and author of Parenting Without Power Struggles told Parents.com: "The goal as a parent is to help your child feel competent and confident, and to help her develop a sense of passion and purpose." 

Also, a 70-year study of 70,000 children found that some of the most basic parenting behaviors can empower kids and lead to their success:  

  • Talking to and listening to your kids

  • Making it clear you have ambitions for their future

  • Being emotionally warm

  • Teaching them letters and numbers

  • Taking them on excursions

  • Reading to them daily (and encouraging them to read for pleasure)

  • Maintaining a regular bedtime 

By supporting your child in these ways, you're laying the groundwork for their happiness—which can lead to achievement, no cheating required.


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