The recently discovered fraud in the US gives us an opportunity to talk to our children about honesty and worthiness.
In the past few days one of the largest fraud schemes in the history of the United States was spread through the media.
Led by Mr. William Singer, a group of 50 wealthy individuals, including 2 Hollywood actresses, paid over $ 6 million over several years to ensure their children were accepted into several of the most prestigious university institutions in the nation. The scheme was based on altering students' qualifications for admission to universities, in some cases falsifying standardized admission test results and in others awarding athletic abilities that they do not have.
The situation has been widely discussed and has highlighted the controversy over meritocracy and access to education. It is frustrating that many students with the talent, qualities and aptitude to enter these competitive universities cannot do so due to their economic or social conditions while others, without having the merits, benefit from a first class education.
As parents, we can use these unfortunate situations to teach our children. One of the most important is honesty.
Acting correctly, complying with duty and morality is something that we must cultivate in our children from a young age. Simple things like telling the truth and admitting that she was the one who ate the lollipop or picked up an extra donut without permission begin to raise awareness about the importance of being honest and admitting mistakes. In older ages, such as adolescence, we can have conversations about these or other events and explain the consequences of engaging in dishonest acts such as fraud. In the same way, we must teach them the importance of recognizing merit in others.
If there is something that disappoints about this news, it is that students who do not have the adequate merits managed to enter these prestigious universities. We must encourage our children to set goals for themselves, so that together with work and effort they are achieved. It is important to make it clear that, contrary to what many believe, money is not a magic key to obtain everything in life, much less happiness. On the contrary, what leads us to achieve success is the knowledge, determination and perseverance that we have to achieve our goals.
Another of the most powerful lessons to emerge from this event is the importance of justice. Allowing these people not to receive the full weight of the law for having a privileged economic position is a mockery of the system and a harmful message for society and for our children. It is giving excessive power to corruption and crime. So it is also a great opportunity to develop in our children the value of justice and make them understand that they must fight for it to prevail.