The secret to being a successful modern parent is telling little white lies, as tall tales can work better than a stern ticking-off, according to a poll of under-pressure mums and dads.
90 percent admit lying routinely or concocting fanciful stories to ensure their children stay on the straight and narrow, the Daily Express reported.
Most popular fibs are pretending to take a call from a headteacher, winding clocks forward to get children out of bed, and telling youngsters that they will be washed down the plug hole if they spend too long in the bath.
It seems mums have most weapons in their persuasive armoury, with an average nine tricks up their sleeve compared with dads' five.
Research by bakery firm Warburtons found half of all parents think creative tales are a necessary part of modern parenting.
Around a third admit to disguising vegetables in other food to get their children to eat their greens.
A similar number spell out certain words rather than saying them in full in the hope that their children won't understand.
Some parents even admitted telling their children that the ice cream van's jingle means it has run out of goodies.
The tale of the tooth fairy is the most popular invention and is used by 38 percent of mums and dads.
A fifth of parents give mundane foods exciting names like "X-ray-vision carrots" or "tiny tasty tree tops" for broccoli to persuade children to eat them.
"Parents today are using their clever and creative sides - mixing traditional and modern tactics to help keep children healthy and happy," Mark Simester of Warburtons said.
"Providing children with a balanced diet has always been important to mums and dads, so we weren't surprised to see examples of clever parenting put into practice to get goodness into kids," he said.
The nationwide survey of more than 2,000 parents found 58 percent get creative to improve their children's behaviour and make them eat properly.
Some 39 percent of mums and dads use invented tales to boost their child's imagination, while 38 percent do so to improve their health. (ANI)