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How to talk to your kids about the cricket cheating scandal

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With our cricket cheats dominating the news cycle for a week straight, even the littlest Australians have picked up on the story.

But how should we, as parents, discuss what's happened with our children – particularly those old enough to have developed a passion for the sport and its most famous players?

Child psychologist Michael Carr-Gregg tells Be, Aussie kids are brought up to revere their sporting heroes.

David and Candice Warner with their daughters Ivy and Indi at Sydney airport. Source: Getty
David and Candice Warner with their daughters Ivy and Indi at Sydney airport. Source: Getty

"As a sport-loving country, Australian kids are raised with the idea that our sporting stars are heroes and are held to a different set of rules and expectations than the general public," he points out.

"Impressionable children and adolescents who are in the process of forming their own sense of identify look to these athletes for guidance on how to behave."

This means professional sportspeople have a special responsibility to remember that they really are role models.

Steve Smith sobs at his press conference at Sydney Airport. Source: Getty
Steve Smith sobs at his press conference at Sydney Airport. Source: Getty

When, as Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft did, they don't remember to act as they should, there are several key messages that Michael believes it's important to relay to your children.

1. Random and chaos happens in the universe
Sometimes, the wrong thing or a sad thing happens and there isn't an easy explanation for it.

2. People are human and good people make mistakes
Even the people we look up to the most can get it wrong sometimes.

3. Cricket will be better as a result
Australian cricket's culture of arrogance, sledging and invulnerability may now diminish and with any luck we'll see a return to the humility and dignity of the Bradman era.

Candice broke down in tears as they faced a media scrum at Sydney Airport on their return from the fateful South African test. Source: Getty
Candice broke down in tears as they faced a media scrum at Sydney Airport on their return from the fateful South African test. Source: Getty

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