18/08/2011 08:36 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Keeping Secrets: Families Spend Thousands In Hush Money - To Their Kids!

Keeping secrets PA

Do you PAY your kids to keep secrets for you? If you do then you're not alone - a study commissioned by Sheilas' Wheels home insurance has found that parents fork out over £1,400 per year in hush money to their kids!

The average family reportedly issues 83 'junior injunctions' every year, by asking their youngsters to keep mum about everything from secrets presents to, amazingly, breaking the law!

One in ten mums and dads admit they 'regularly 'ask their children to keep quiet about stuff, and spend £27 each week on 'hush money' and treats to buy their silence, most usually bribing them with technology related gifts like games and consoles, (average £176.80 each year!) or clothes and shoes.

Despite this, 40 per cent of adults admit that most secrets are eventually exposed, with just 14 days passing before their offspring spills the beans on average - although a quarter of kids will only manage to keep their lips buttoned for two hours!

And whilst half of parents (53 per cent) said that there was nothing wrong with asking a child to keep the occasional secret, 70 per cent said they tell their kids to never keep secrets from them. Mixed messages or what?

The top 10 secrets that parents ask their children to keep:

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)

Do you ask your children to keep secrets? Or do you think it's an awful thing to do?