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Would you help your child cheat?



Published Jul 24, 2012


London - It seems that for many parents, seeing their children just taking part is not enough

One in three have trained, coached or advised their children in a bid to help them win on school sports day, according to a survey.

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Many have passed on tips and hints about events while a handful have even gone as far as taking their child to the local park to train in preparation for the big day.

The research also revealed one third of parents wouldn’t stop their child from cheating while just over one in ten actively admit encouraging them to cheat if that’s what it takes for them to win an event.

It was also found that pushy parents often felt disappointed, upset, angry and let down when their child doesn’t win at sports day events.

It also emerged mothers and fathers can be just as guilty of adopting a win at all costs attitude during the parent’s races, with one in five admitting they would cheat if they could.

Among the shocking stories which emerged from the survey 2,000 parents was one mother who admitted using chewing gum to gain an advantage in the egg-and-spoon race.

Another even confessed to going running every night for a week to make sure she won the mother’s sprint race.

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The study revealed nearly half of all parents admit they have a competitive streak when it comes to their kids.

A handful admitted they put their son or daughter through their paces at the local park to give them a better chance of sports day glory.

The research also revealed four out of ten parents encourage their child to be more competitive with one in ten saying that they get more upset than their child does if they don’t win.

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More than one said they push their child so they have the best chance of winning, while one in ten admit to having made their child practice ahead of sports day.

One in four said they encouraged their child to do whatever it takes to get an edge over the competition with poking feet holes in the bottom of the sack before the sack race, tripping other children up and even distracting them the most common rouses.

One in five parents said they have helped their child stick an egg to their spoon while one quarter admitted offering incentives to their child if they won.

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As for those who felt disappointed if their child failed to win at sports day, the blame was placed on schools by 36 percent of parents who complained they don’t encourage their child to be competitive enough.

The study revealed that dads were both more competitive than moms and also more likely to help their child cheat.

Moms on the other hand were more likely to encourage their child to practice.

Thirty five per cent of parents said they were more competitive than their children when it came to sports day.

Among the stories which emerged from the report was one mom who admitted she held the beanbag on her head as she romped to victory on sports day while one parent confessed to bribing her children with a trip to EuroDisney if they won the sprint race.

The trend emerged following a study carried out by Early Learning Centre.

A spokesperson for the Early Learning Centre said: “Whilst we all want our children to enjoy sports and get the most from school events it’s important to teach children that taking part and team spirit are important factors of sport.

“Not all children will have natural sporting ability so it’s vital that they feel part of a team regardless of their sporting prowess.

“Encouraging children to do well and practicing a few different sports in the garden is one thing but encouraging children to cheat is taking things too far.

“Taking part in sports is vital to a child’s development, learning about co-operation, developing their gross motor-skills, keeping healthy and active and most of all having fun.”

The ELC spokeswoman added: “Cheating aside, sports day and preparing for sports day inspires children to get active and play outside.

“With the Olympics just around the corner, children will be able to see a whole range of sporting events and hopefully become inspired to take up a new sport and enjoy the value of team spirit.” - Daily Mail

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