According to a study of families undertaken in the United States and China, most parents tell lies to their children as a way of reinforcing desirable social behaviour.
The most common lie is parents threatening to leave children alone in public unless they behaved, the BBC reported.
It was also revealed that children are also told that they would grow taller for every bite of broccoli so as to encourage healthy eating habits.
As per the study, published in the International Journal of Psychology, parents also lie to their children that they would go blind unless they ate particular vegetables.
Researchers from psychology departments at the University of California San Diego in the US, Zhejiang Normal University, Jinhua in China and the University of Toronto, Canada, found that such falsehoods were used by an overwhelming majority of parents in both the United States and China.
Another lie that was common in both countries was the “false promise to buy a requested toy at some indefinite time in the future,” the study revealed.
The researchers, headed by Gail D. Heymana, Anna S. Hsua, Genyue Fub and Kang Leeac, have established different categories of these untruths.