17/08/2011 10:26 BST | Updated 17/10/2011 06:12 BST

The Top Ten Secrets Parents Ask Children To Keep

The average British parent asks their children to keep 83 secrets a year, according to a new study.

The most common reasons for implementing these so-called "junior injunctions" were to keep a gift secret from a family member, and to lie about their child's age to save money.

However, five per cent of the surveyed parents acknowledged that they had asked their children to keep hush-hush about instances where the parent had broken the law.

Most families even admitted to bribing their child - by up to £110 in cash and £175 worth of gadgets in the average year - to enforce a code of silence.

The top ten secrets for imposing junior injunctions were:

1. A gift that is to be given (54 per cent)

2. Their real age in order to pay a reduced price (26 per cent)

3. Staying up past their bedtime (22 per cent)

4. Eating junk food or sweets (16 per cent)

5. Extravagant purchases (13 per cent)

6. Their real age in order to get them into an age restricted film (nine per cent)

7. Breaking rules set by the other parent (eight per cent)

8. Breaking something in the home (seven per cent)

9. Breaking the law (five per cent)

10. Damaging the car (three per cent)

The study also showed that parents in London were almost three times as likely as those in the East Midlands to ask their children to lie for them.

Top regions for parents regularly imposing junior injunctions:

1. London (20 per cent)

2. North East (18 per cent)

3. Yorkshire (nine per cent)

4. North West (eight per cent)

5. East Midlands (seven per cent)

The research was commissioned by the insurance group Sheila's Wheels and carried out by Fly Research. Jacky Brown of Sheilas' Wheels said:

"We were all appalled to find out what some famous faces were getting up to in secret, but it seems that most Brits are hiding more than a few secrets of their own. Asking children to keep quiet so as not to spoil a surprise such as a birthday present or a party is all part and parcel of the fun of keeping secrets but some things should never be swept under the carpet and hidden away."