Parents lie to their kids twice a week

Parents lie to their children more than 100 times a year, on average, according to a survey of more than 1000 mums and dads. In a “White Lies” study conducted by insurance company Sheilas’ Wheels, two thirds of parents (66 per cent) think that it is ok for them to tell lies to their children even though 90% of them tell their children off for fibbing.

Top ten white lies parents tell their children:

  • If you put your tooth under the pillow the tooth fairy will take it away (78 per cent)
  • Father Christmas only visits good children (67 per cent)
  • Carrots make you see in the dark (65 per cent)
  • Too much television gives you square eyes (47 per cent)
  • If you cross your eyes or make a silly face and the wind changes then it will stay like that (38 per cent)
  • Eating your crusts makes your hair curly (37 per cent)
  • Your nose grows if you tell lies (34 per cent)
  • Spinach gives you muscles like Popeye (24 per cent)
  • Picking your nose makes your brain fall out (18 per cent)
  • If you swallow chewing gum it gets tangled around your internal organs (18 per cent)

Parents are not just bending the truth to their children – a third (33 per cent) of those polled have also fibbed to their child’s teacher. Of those parents, 30 per cent even admit to telling their children’s school that their son or daughter was unwell when they were in fact in perfectly good health or even on holiday.

According to the study, parents are also actively encouraging their children to tell white lies to their teachers, with 37 per cent of parents admitting to feeding their children fibs about why they were late, why they hadn’t done their homework (31 per cent) and why they had a day off school (35 per cent).

Two thirds of parents polled (63 per cent) even admit to using their children as a convenient excuse when they want to get out of a social appointment or gathering, and 61 per cent of parents have even used their child as an excuse for being late.

Regional Differences

  • 77 per cent of Londoners admit to using their child as an excuse to get out of a boring telephone conversation.
  • Three quarters of Scottish parents (76 per cent) believe that it is ok to tell lies to children.
  • Over half (53 per cent) of Welsh parents have told a white lie to their children’s teachers.

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