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by Abigail Van Buren

Friends Admit 'Living It Up' Isn't All It's Cracked Up to Be

DEAR ABBY: My wife and I have a good marriage and two well-behaved kids who are good students and active in our community. Our 8-year-old son is very much the rule follower in school and outside activities, but cheats when playing board or card games with me or his sister at home.

When I catch him doing it, I end the game and tell him I won't play with him if he's going to cheat. My wife believes the cheating is "just for fun" and that I'm being too hard on him. I say the lesson I'm teaching him is that cheating is wrong.

We agree we are fortunate this happens only at home, but I'm concerned that if it is left unchecked, it will be regarded as permissible and it will escalate to become a problem in other circumstances. What do you think? Should I let up? -- VIRGINIA DAD

DEAR DAD: No, stick to your guns. And the next time you catch your son cheating, impress upon him that if others catch him at it, they not only won't want to play games with him, but also may not want to be friends with him.

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