Guilty parent

The cunning and creative lies you've told your children

Inspired by the dastardly schemes of Count Olaf in Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, Netflix asked Mumsnetters to confess the lies they'd told their children – the results were, erm, interesting

1. There are some things in life that money can't buy

“The Easter Bunny and Father Christmas store their extra chocolate and toys in shops. You can't actually buy them.”

1. There are some things in life that money can't buy

2. Dehumidifiers: the scourge of the toybox

“We recently bought a dehumidifier and when my six-year-old asked what dehumidifier meant, we told him it was German for 'toy crusher'. We explained that at night, after he was in bed, it roamed the downstairs crushing any toys left on the lounge floor. I called in family members and friends to confirm this, and even staged a 'crushing' of one of his baby brother's old toys. My lounge floor has never been so clean.”

2. Dehumidifiers: the scourge of the toybox

3. Doing your bit for the environment

Child: “Why are there so many sweetie papers in the door pocket of your car?”
Me: “Oh, I was waiting for you in the car at school and there was all this rubbish blowing in the road, so I brought it home to put it in the bin.”

3. Doing your bit for the environment

4. Chimney sweeps aren't just for sweeping chimneys

“We told our eldest daughter that the 'Chimney Man' took naughty children. We then made the mistake of taking her to the Sweeps Festival – she was horrified to see how many Chimney Men there were. For many years after, saying 'I'll call the Chimney Man' stopped her bad behaviour.”

4. Chimney sweeps aren't just for sweeping chimneys

5. Ice cream van? What ice cream van?

“The ice cream van is called a Music Van and its only purpose is to drive around playing fun music for us all to listen to.”

5. Ice cream van? What ice cream van?

6. The government take a keen interest in pocket money

“I told the children that the Chancellor of the Exchequer is responsible for their pocket money, so they don't ask me for a raise. We'll just have to see what comes out of the Autumn Statement…”

6. The government take a keen interest in pocket money

7. That lying is bad for you

“I told my son that when you lie, you get a red dot on your forehead – he now covers his forehead when he’s telling porkies.”

7. That lying is bad for you

8. Johnny Cash = fan of a vindaloo

“I told my daughter many years ago that the Johnny Cash song 'Ring of Fire' was written about the morning after a very hot curry. More recently, she was in class with several other 17-year-olds and her teacher, discussing songs that they liked. She explained the meaning of 'Ring of Fire' to the assembled group – apparently it took quite a while for the laughing to stop.”

8. Johnny Cash = fan of a vindaloo

9. The truth behind bodily functions

“I told my son that girls don't poo. When a girl at his school farted he asked me, 'How can she fart but not poo?' 'Magic wind,' I replied. He's turning nine this year, and is still unsure – he knows some girls definitely poo, but not his mother!”

9. The truth behind bodily functions

10. Where neglected toys go

“Teddy bear ham is made from unloved teddy bears and tastes of sadness.”

10. Where neglected toys go

11. Some things are out of parents' hands

“You have to get special permission from the Queen to get a drum kit.”

11. Some things are out of parents' hands

12. The lie that's actually quite lovely

“My daughter is three and becoming a bit afraid of monsters. I've told her that there is something much scarier than monsters – something so terrifying that the monsters are scared and stay away. That something is me. So as long as I'm around, no monsters dare darken our door.”

12. The lie that's actually quite lovely