Let’s face it, no childhood is complete without at least some degree of antics, mishaps, and escapades that most kids would prefer to keep completely private—especially as far as their parents are concerned. Unfortunately for many of these kids, their wishes do not quite come true.
Here are 35 of the most interesting cases of parents knowing just a little more about their kids than they let on.
35. Ahead in the Game
I know my kid has a Reddit account, discovered it when I tried to create a sub about a very specific thing he has created, and I wanted to document/archive all of his creations there for him to see a few years in the future, turned out it already existed.
Went through his post/comment history. He’s such a naive and good boy! Couldn’t be prouder, always asking questions and helping out people. Gave him gold, never told him.
Whenever my wife and I speak about Reddit stuff he says “Wish I could have an account” or “I have never been there, how is it like?” or “That sounds boring.”
He’s got more karma than me.
34. The Real Area 51
I know about their secret hideout in the drainage ditch. I know they think they’re being sneaky when they are yelling “hup two three four” and buddy carrying a 2 by 4 across the yard towards their super secret hideout. I know they drag all their “inside only” toys out to the hideout.
I don’t think they’ve caught onto the fact that I’ve been going in there and clearing out the toys left behind. Or they have, and that’s their secret about me.
33. Taking the Plunge for His Kid
Not a parent, but a kid. When I was 12 and I was just getting into rock climbing, my dad—who was a fairly good climber, doing V4 and V5s easily while I struggled with V3s—saw that I was losing some of my confidence because I was having a hard time getting into the V3 range.
One day he took me to the climbing center and did his warm-up, a V3, and made it to the top… except he didn’t. On the last move, he fell. I was shocked. He shook his head, looked at me, and told me to try it myself. I did it on the first try. It boosted my confidence.
It was only a few days ago—I’m 18 now—that I found out he faked the fall to help me understand that everyone fails. I still climb to this day now doing V5s upward on the regular.
32. Them’s Fightin’ Words
I know my four-year-old trash talks me to her stuffed animals when I send her to her room. I know she’s not really sleeping when she starts jumping all over the room screaming “RUN PUPPY!! THE SHARK IS COMING!!” in the middle of the night. I also know she’s drawing pictures on the bottom of the table when no one is looking.
31. Extending Your Daily Screen Time
When I was a kid, I used to pretend I couldn’t sleep without the TV on. Really, I just wanted to stay up an extra hour so I could watch my two favorite shows: X-Men: Evolution and Justice League. I thought I was so clever.
Recently I brought it up with my mom, and she said “I know. That’s why I always set your bedtime an hour before I actually wanted you to be asleep.” I was absolutely shocked.
30. A Sophisticated Chain of Lies
My son is four. He still thinks he is invisible when he covers himself with a blanket.
Our whole family has made a pact to act like he is.
Things should be interesting in a few years
29. Something Smells About This Situation
My sister smokes weed but only does it in the bathroom so all her kids think the weed smell is actually her poop.
28. Open Secret
Once my older brother spent 10 minutes trying to show me how to open the door just right so it wouldn’t make a sound and you could sneak out to smoke weed without our parents knowing.
He didn’t believe me when I told him that they knew, so at dinner I said: “Hey dad, you know Geoff smokes in the backyard, right?” He laughed and said, “Yeah, he sneaks through the garage”.
27. A Word to the Not So Wise
Message for kids still in school. Especially adolescents. You don’t know how loud you are. Even if you think you’re whispering, you’re probably not. Teachers hear way more than you’d probably be comfortable with, and definitely, more than we’re comfortable with.
26. Who Took the Cookies From the Cookie Jar?
That my five-year-old knows how to get in the Oreo jar every night after bedtime. He grabs one for his little brother and he also checked with me to make sure I don’t count the Oreos before I put them in the jar.
25. Good Luck Getting Out of This Maze
When I was about 8 or 9, I hated corn and would only eat it if it was on the cob. After months of shoveling loose corn into my pockets at the dinner table and burying it inside of the “I can’t finish anymore” mashed potatoes, my mother had confronted me.
I went to go to the bathroom to empty my pockets into the toilet immediately after dinner, as I always did when we had canned corn, and my mom goes “Stop right there.” I was turning the hallway corner to go into the bathroom and I remember literally freezing like it was a game of red-light, green-light.
And she walks over and she goes “Can you do me a favor, and empty your pockets?” And all I heard was my dad chuckling from the kitchen. Mom? Wasn’t too pleased.
24. Occam’s Razor
My daughter peed in bed last night; her sister did not, in fact, put on her pajamas and sneak into her bed to pee in an overly convoluted plot to frame her.
23. A Young Acting Prodigy with a Secret Double Life
At bedtime, my two-year-old daughter gets right into bed, snuggles in, closes her eyes, and feigns sleep by making loud and dramatic snoring sounds.
We think it’s funny, so we go along with it.
As soon as we’re “downstairs,” we hear her singing to herself, dancing, playing with her My Little Pony, or flipping through books.
That’s why she’s always in bed an hour early.
It’s also why one of us sits on the top step, just out of sight every night.
It’s worth it for the nights she manages not to wake at 4 am from teething. 🙂
22. Everyone Needs an Outlet
My daughter’s fake Instagram account. She’s a good kid and this is her way of being “edgy” so I don’t see any reason to bring it up with her.
21. Your Secret is Safe With No One
When I was in high school we had a family computer. One day I was looking through the history to find a page I was on for a homework assignment, and I found tons of search history for gay adult content.
My little brother and I were the only ones who used this computer since my dad was deployed and my mom had her own laptop. So that’s how I found out my brother was gay. It was really funny when three years later he came out to me and I said “yes I know, let me show you this thing they call ‘clear search history.’” He was mortified.
Turns out my mom had also regularly looked at our search history and that’s how she found out he was gay as well. So I guess that’s the secret our mom knew.
20. Sounds Like a Booby Trap to Me
I once checked the internet history after my son finished using the family iPad. He had searched boobies. I decided to follow his search. It led to a Wikipedia on a type of bird called a blue-footed booby. I wish I could have seen his confused and disappointed look.
19. A No-Nonsense Kind of Lady
In high school, my best friend’s mom figured out he was using the good olive oil to pleasure himself sexually.
Breaking from the post motif, however, she confronted him and politely asked that he used literally any of the lotions in the bathroom instead since they were cheaper to replace.
I love that woman to death and back.
18. I Swear I Heard Something Different
My 19-year-old still doesn’t swear in front of us. Tells us she doesn’t talk like that. She pocket dialed me the other day and I heard her drop some f-bombs. It was hilarious, still haven’t told her.
17. Threatening to Spill the Beans
I heard my 10-year-old nephew yelling at his little brothers because they were threatening to tell their mom that he kissed a girl behind the dumpsters at the pool.
16. Toying Around With His Memory
My nearly two-year-old son seems to love the rewarding experience of finding a lost toy together with either me or his Mum. We’ll hear from the other room “Oh!” then a pause, some rummaging and then ‘Where, for example, has Thomas gone?’
He’ll sound more and more concerned before coming in and asking “Daddy (or Mummy) see Thomas!”—basically asking us to help him, which of course we do and usually find it with him.
What he doesn’t know is that we both know he spends a couple of minutes at the start of each day hiding a couple of his toys around the lounge, leaves it a while, and then pretends they’re lost.
What we don’t know is whether or not he can actually remember where he hid them. I assume he can’t, and so must applaud his initiative in creating a genuine problem to overcome together.
15. Blue Raspberry on Her Face
I know my three-year-old daughter wakes up every morning, finds my stash of blue raspberry bonbons and eats one before breakfast.
14. He Clearly Didn’t Think That Through…
My son smokes weed in the attic at night. It has a vent that goes right to our bedroom.
13. The Poet Didn’t Even Know It
Not a parent but when I was a teenager I used to write bad poetry. I mean really bad poetry, the “broken heart, nobody could ever understand me” kind of poetry. I kept them to myself and didn’t share them.
Fast forward 23 years and I’m helping Mom clean out my childhood home and I come across the entire stack of bad poems tucked away deep in an old box of my stuff. They’re freaking terrible and deeply, deeply personal.
I’m a grown man and I’ve got this stack of papers in my hand that makes me feel 15 years old again. The bad part of 15; the awkward, lack of confidence part of 15, the “holy crap I’m glad I never have to feel that way again” part of 15.
I actually try to sneak these papers past my mom to burn them immediately outside. She sees them and asks me what I’m doing. I tell her it’s just some stuff I wrote as a kid and I’m going to burn it quick as it’s personal and I don’t want anyone to read it. She says “Your poems? Yeah, I really worried about you when I read them.” Damn it, mom.
12. Very Specific Taste
My little sister is 10 years younger than me. When she was in about sixth grade, she’d invite the neighbor over and they’d use my mom’s laptop after she went to bed. Mom checked her browsing history one day and there were pages and pages of adult video searches of really specific stuff. My favorite was probably “Amazing World of Gumball adult videos.”
Forgot to mention, the best part was when she later asked my dad to borrow his laptop. Jokingly he said, “Sure, long as you don’t look up inappropriate material.” She got really defensive and said “Uh! I would never do that, dad!”
11. A Little Help From a Photographic Memory
My parents always knew when my siblings would sneak out and we could never figure out how they knew.
One time my brother was an idiot and got caught sneaking out of a window from our basement. It was winter. They left footprints.
Every sleepover we had my mom would take a picture of everyone’s shoes that night before bed. If they had changed overnight, she knew they snuck out! She would only tell us once we’d all moved out.
10. They Don’t Get It Right Every Time!
My sister in law is a gorgeous girl who never went out or partied with friends. Only wanted to study at home. At some point they were taking her aside and telling her it’s okay to be gay and they love all their children regardless. Had her first boyfriend at 27 and married him. She just didn’t see the point in screwing around.
9. A Hidden Agenda
Not a parent, but when I was a little girl in elementary school I used to “try to climb the fire pole without using my arms.” Dozens of adults must have noticed and known what I was up to.
To be fair though, I had no idea what I was actually doing.
Fun bonus story: I once was working the pole like I usually did at recess and the bell rang so most of the kids ran inside. I was almost done so I stayed behind for just a minute and the recess lady came up to me to tell me to go back to class.
I told her “just a second” and finished what I was doing, then dropped to the ground and ran inside, no shame. I really thought she would think I was just a determined pole climber.
8. YouTube Brings Out the Animal in Her
That when my daughter was five or six years old, she would look up videos of dogs throwing up or stallions urinating, based on her YouTube history. I never directly spoke to her about this but have always told her that she can always talk to me about any questions she had about any subject with no judgment from me. She’s 14 now and I still haven’t said a word.
7. Don’t Trash These Stories
Oh god. Back in the day (2005) I was 14 and I would print out my erotic Harry Potter fan fiction to read at night, as we didn’t have portable devices like smartphones back then. I always threw them away after.
One day my mom gave me a gigantic see-through bag for trash and that night I read some of the good stuff and then put it in there. Probably like 15 pages of printed out smut.
While I was at school she rooted through my trash. She confronted me when I came home like “Why are Fred and George having sex with Hermione? What are these stories?? Where do you get them? Are they all sexual like this??”
So so bad. I think I died and I’ve been a ghost for the last 13 years.
6. Do I Need to Draw You a Picture to Explain This One?
While changing the sheets in my then 10-year-old (he’s now 12) son’s bed, when I pulled off the fitted sheet a folded up piece of paper fell out, I picked it up and unfolded it.
Drawings of boobs. Just boobs. Big ones. Small ones. Giant ones, all with little dot nipples, I chuckle and tuck it back in. Then my hand feels more folded papers. I pull one out, expecting to find more boobies, nope, they were dicks. I laugh and put it back with the rest and continue on about my day.
He gets home from school and talks about his day and school life. I ask what he did in free period, and he says “Nothing, just drew and played games with my friends”. I tell him I changed and washed his sheets. He stops what he’s doing. Looks at me to see if I’m going to say or mention anything about his artwork. When I say nothing more, smiles and says “Thanks, Mom.”
All the while he’s going through his back pack’s outside pocket, he pulls out 3 folded pieces of paper and shoves them into his pant pockets. Says he going to go change and takes off to his room.
5. Taking the Lie for What It’s Worth
I know that my daughter knows that Santa doesn’t exist. She still plays me every Christmas for what she wants from Santa.
4. Dirty Little Secret
My kid poops in his pants on purpose. I know this because he laughs maniacally when I’m not looking.
3. To Each Their Own
My son had a pet caterpillar that he let walk all over his private area and got an allergic reaction. He said it happened in the middle of the night when he was sleeping but we know it happened because he liked it. Sigh.
2. Convenient Timing for a New Interest
My two adult daughters suddenly and simultaneously became interested in old family photos. Particularly of themselves at various stages of childhood.
Turns out they’d both decided they wanted to make extra money selling their eggs but they needed to include a portfolio of pictures with their application form.
1. A Little Too Much Information
My 13-year-old practically advertises that he’s “going to the bathroom,” but he doesn’t go in there to go number one or number two.
I always make him wash his hands when he’s done.