Are We Confusing Our Kids?
It’s ok Son, everybody does it.
by Jack Griffin
When Johnny was six years old he was with his father when they were caught speeding. His father handed the officer a twenty dollar bill with his driver’s license. “It’s OK son,” his father said as they drove off. “Everybody does it.”
When he was, he was present as a family council presided over by Uncle George on the surest means to shave points off the income tax return. “It’s OK, kid,” his uncles said. “Everybody does it.”
When he was 9, his mother took him to his first theater production. The box office man couldn’t find any seats until his mother discovered an extra $5 in her purse. “It’s OK, son,” she said. “Everybody does it.”
When he was 12, he broke his glasses on the way to school. His Aunt Francine persuaded the insurance company that they had been stolen and they collected $75. “It’s OK, kid,” she said. “Everybody does it.”
When he was 15, he made right guard on the high school football team. His coach showed him how to block and at the same time grab the opposing end by the shirt, so the official couldn’t see it. “It’s OK, kid,” the coach said. “Everybody does it.”
When he was 16, he took his first summer job at the supermarket. His assignment was to put the overripe strawberries on the bottom of the boxes and the good ones on top where they would show. “It’s OK kid,” the manager said. “Everybody does it.”
When he was 18, Johnny and a neighbor applied for a college scholarship. Johnny was a marginal student. His neighbor was in the upper three percent of his class but he couldn’t play right guard. Johnny got the scholarship. “It’s OK, son,” his parents said. “Everybody does it.”
When he was 19, he was approached by an upperclassman who offered the test answers for $50. “It’s OK kid,” he said. “Everybody does it.”
Johnny was caught and sent home in disgrace. “How could you do this to your mother and me?” His father said. “You never learned anything like this at home.” His aunt and uncle were shocked.
If there’s one thing the adult world can’t stand, it’s a kid who cheats…
From: The Power of Ethical Management, Peale and Blanchard.