Top 20 lies parents tell their children

We werent arguing, we were having a discussion - Shutterstock
We werent arguing, we were having a discussion - Shutterstock

Six in ten (60 per cent) British parents are telling porkies to their children on a daily basis and a majority (89 per cent) of parents believe telling ‘white lies’ is the secret to successful parenting, according to new research released today which reveals the top 20 untruths mums and dads tell youngsters.

More than three quarters of the parents (79 per cent) in the study said they were guilty of telling a fib at least once a day, while a fifth (20 per cent) said they did so five times a week.

The new study, specially commissioned by Davina McCall’s weekly TV series The Davina Hour, identifies the top 20 lies which parents tell their children. The next episode of the Davina Hour airs today (Monday 25 September) at 9.00pm, focusing on issues of modern-day parenting.

Topping the list of favourite fibs include tales about Father Christmas and the Tooth Fairy, which a third of parents (35 per cent) believe are part of sustaining the magic of childhood.

Steve North General Manager of W, which airs The Davina Hour, said: “Nobody likes to lie but occasionally we feel we need to do so to avoid awkward truths or when we feel it is in the best interests of the child. But it does raise concerns about why it is acceptable for parents to think they can lie when the children should not, and how they can explain it away when they get caught telling a fib. These are some of the issues we will be tackling in this edition of The Davina Hour.”

The top 20 untruths parents tell their children are revealed as:

We’re nearly there (59%)

Father Christmas keeps a naughty list (58%)

The Tooth Fairy has been (54%)

Eating carrots will help you see in the dark (46%)

If you don’t hurry up, I am going without you (43%)

Watching TV will damage your eyesight (43%)

If the wind changes your face will stay like that (34%)

The needle won’t hurt (34%)

You should never tell lies (33%)

If you go outside with wet hair, you’ll catch a cold (31%)

School years are the best years of your life (28%)

If you swallow that chewing gum it will be inside you for seven years (27%)

Mum and dad are not arguing, we are having a discussion (26%)

You’re the most beautiful child in the world (26%)

When the ice cream van plays the music that means the ice cream has sold out (24%)

Eating your crusts will make your hair go curly (23%)

What goes around comes around (22%)

Your pet has gone to live somewhere else (21%)

Oh that noise from our bedroom? We were playing a game (19%)

There are fairies at the bottom of the garden (18%)