Parents are sharing the best lie they've ever told their kids. And they're genius.

Thanks to our brand partner, KnowMeningococcal

Some of the little white lies we tell our kids are simply a pre-emptive strike to hold tears at bay and save ourselves a big headache later.

‘Yes darling, your picture is lovely. I can definitely tell that’s a tree.’ 

‘Where is the dog? Oh he went to live on a farm!’

And then there are those lies that are so brilliant, you wonder why you ever started telling the truth to your kids in the first place.

Like the grand Santa conspiracy that ensures our kids will behave for at least a month of the year. Whoever came up with that jolly bribery trick is the true messiah.

Listen: On This Glorious Mess this week, Holly Wainwright and Andrew discuss some of the best lies parents have ever told.

For mother-of-two Holly Wainwright, the best lie turned out to be not-so-great when she got busted.

Her daughter Matilda was full to the brim with sugar when she spotted every kid’s dream – a wall covered in donuts.

“Matilda’s eyes just went enormous, but she’d just had some candy floss and a cupcake and god knows what else,” Holly said on this week’s instalment of Mamamia’s parenting podcast This Glorious Mess.

So Holly got creative.

“I said to her, ‘they’re not real… they’re made of plastic’.”


Matilda believed her mum, until she spotted someone take a bite. Oops.

Real or fake? You be the judge.

While Holly was caught out in her lie about the delicious donuts, it turns out there are countless foolproof lies that parents can add to their arsenal. Like these parents who kindly shared their genius fibs on Quora:

My father told us that if we swung over the bar on the swing set, we would turn ourselves inside out. Terrifying, I know. - Madsen

From the time he could talk, my nephew was told by his mum that he was allergic to alcohol.  She'd tell him the story of how he almost died when taking cough syrup with alcohol.  He always swore that he remembered this incident. He grew up convinced that he was allergic and didn't have his first drink until after college. - Carolina

Just like a normal child I loved chewing/eating my nails as a kid. My mother warned me that if I kept eating my nails, then in no time a tree full of nails will grow up in my stomach. The very thought of a nail tree in my stomach, scared the hell out of me and my mother succeeded. - Ashmita

Mmmm. Tasty.

I told my little boy that none of the toys in the shops were actually there for us to buy, but they were there for the staff to play with when it was their playtime. Worked for years. - Anila

My mum sat the two-year-old me down and explained, "Shreya, did I ever tell you, your throat has a small voice box? That’s where all the voice is stored for talking. Everyone has limited supply. The way you’ve been talking these days, at the best you’ve only a few days left before you go completely mute! How will you ever tell me you’re hungry? What about all the crying for candy and ice cream? Sigh, we will miss all of it." It worked like magic. - Shreya


That you can’t grow any bigger if you don’t sleep in your own bed. Kids grow a little bit every day and there isn’t enough room for them to grow if them sleep in bed with mum and dad. If kids want to grow up and get big, they have to sleep in their own beds. Every. Single. Night. - Kimberley

What's the best lie you've ever told your kids?

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Listen to the full episode of This Glorious Mess, below.

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This content was created with thanks to our brand partner GSK.

Parents, make sure to ask your GP about meningococcal disease, and what vaccines your child can get to protect them.

For further information, visit KnowMeningococcal.