Parents bribe their kids to keep secrets

British parents spend more than £1,400 per year in hush money for their children to keep their secrets, according to a survey.

Insurance company Sheilas’ Wheels commissioned the survey, which found parents impose 83 ‘junior injunctions’ each year by asking their children to keep secrets… often from the other parent.

And in order to keep their secrecy, parents are willing to spend £27 each week on hush money and treats – ranging from new clothes to junk food.

The most common secret that parents ask kids to keep is a surprise gift for someone else, followed by their real age in order to pay a reduced price and being allowed to stay up beyond bedtime.

Five per cent of British parents said they had asked their children to keep a secret when they had broken the law.

Technology was the most common bribe to convince children to keep secrets, with the typical parent spending an average of £176.80 each year on consoles and gadgets. The average parent also bribes their children with £156 worth of clothes, £147.30 in shoes and trainers and £140.40 in fun activities annually.

The average British parent also hands over a staggering £114.40 each year in cash to their children to encourage them keep a secret.

Top ten secrets that parents ask their children to keep:

  1. A gift that is to be given (54%)
  2. Their real age in order to pay a reduced price (26%)
  3. Staying up past their bedtime (22%)
  4. Eating junk food or sweets (16%)
  5. Extravagant purchases (13%)
  6. Their real age in order to get them into an age restricted film (9%)
  7. Breaking rules set by the other parent (8%)
  8. Breaking something in the home (7%)
  9. Breaking the law (5%)
  10. Damaging the car (3%)

A spokesperson for Sheilas’ Wheels said, “We were all appalled to find out what some famous faces were getting up to in secret, but it seems that most Brits are hiding more than a few secrets of their own.

“Asking children to keep quiet so as not to spoil a surprise such as a birthday present or a party is all part and parcel of the fun of keeping secrets but some things should never be swept under the carpet and hidden away.”

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