25 Unconventional Parenting Tips For Those Who Don’t Mind Bending The Truth

Published 2 weeks ago

In the vast world of Reddit, discussions range from the profoundly philosophical to the delightfully mundane. Among these conversations, one particular thread recently garnered significant attention: “What’s the most unethical parenting hack you know?”

The responses were a mixture of humorous, shocking, and thought-provoking insights into the creative, albeit questionable, strategies some parents employ. Here are some of the standout answers.

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Image source: Velociraptornuggets, Ulyasage / envato (not the actual photo)

My nephew refused to vacuum so I told him the thing about the vacuum sucking up ghosts. I said that vacuuming kept houses from getting haunted, that’s why haunted houses are so dusty. Ten years later he is still a neat freak and I feel responsible.


Image source: yamsnz, Ksenia Chernaya / pexels (not the actual photo)

My kid went up 4 reading levels over Covid lockdown – everyone thought I was really putting in a big effort with his reading.

Truth is, I just turned on subtitles on the TV.


Image source: Lingonberry_Born, cottonbro studio / pexels (not the actual photo)

I pretended that certain foods such as the skin on steamed salmon and broccoli are incredibly delicious and would ask my kids if I could eat theirs. Other parents found it hilarious that my kids would be begging for slimy salmon skin and be delighted when I gave them cucumbers. .


Image source: MajorCompetitive612, Mizuno K / pexels (not the actual photo)

Saw this video on Instagram: When it’s past their bedtime, Dad changes the language on the TV to Spanish. When the kid’s act confused, he says it “must be because you’re tired”.


Image source: JsyHST, Dương Nhân/ pexels (not the actual photo)

My son hates tomatoes. It’s amazing how many foodstuffs now contain tomatoes as a major ingredient.


Illusion of choice.

We can have x or y. What do *you* want?

This might not be unethical depending on how you feel about it and how you use it. In the end, children, just like adults, want to be treated with respect and decency. They want to know their input is valued.

Image source: ChemicalEscapes


Image source: keyser-_-soze, Gustavo Fring / pexels (not the actual photo)

Told our daughter that the kids ears turn red when they lie, but only parents can see it.

She would enter rooms with her hands covering her ears, and we knew we were in for a lie lol.


Our youngest son co-slept with his mother and I until he was 5… easily the dumbest thing we ever did. Trying to ween him off of that put his life and our sanity in danger. Hours a night were spent trying to get that little devil to fall asleep. My wife introduced him to “The Sleep Fairy”. A lot like the Tooth Fairy, only SF helps little boys and girls sleep in their own bed. She found a small wooden treasure box, helped him paint/decorate it, and told him every night he sleeps in his own bed, the SF will give him a gift. SF left little Lego people, small candies, and other small toys and treats for a month. It got to where he looked forward to sleeping in his own bed. After a month, the SF wrote a heartfelt message to the boy, letting him know how proud of him they were and it was time for her to go and help other little boys and girls sleep in their beds. Son is now 14 and he still has the SF treasure box in his room that he never f*****g leaves.

Image source: rndye


Image source: 4C35101013, Yan Krukau / pexels (not the actual photo)

Not exactly unethical but one way my mom got child-me to stop crying was to rapidly cover and uncover my mouth (kinda like how people used to imitate native Americans back in the day). The resulting noise I made never failed to make me laugh hysterically and calmed me down instantly. Mom’s a real cheeky lady.


Image source: lollie85, Ketut Subiyanto / pexels (not the actual photo)

If you want your toddler to do something they don’t really wanna do then ask them a question where all possible answers involve them doing the thing.

For example, when my kid was in the bath, they never wanted to get out when bath time was over. So I just asked ‘do you want to climb out yourself, or do you want me to lift you out?

Worked every time.


When my son was a baby, dude cried like a banshee, and he cried a lot. I was the bath-giver, and it was especially bad in there due to the small space. So I went on Amazon and got myself some noise muffling earmuffs (like what you’d use on a gun range or something) and it made the crying so much less stressful and easy to deal with so I could just focus on loving him without the noise grating my soul.

Maybe not that unethical, but I’ve gotten negative reactions from some people when I told them about it.

Image source: Sir_I_Exist


Image source: Big-Speaker-2538, Kelly / pexels (not the actual photo)

Telling your kids that the car won’t start unless everyone’s seatbelt is buckled. It’s sneaky, but at least it’s for their safety!


Not sure how unethical this is, but here we go. i have two older siblings. my parents didn’t know the best way for them to help my oldest sibling how to read. My other sibling (middle child), they did ‘the smartie game’. (smarties are a type of sweet by the way) Every time they got a flash card word right, they got given a smartie.

For me though, every time I got a word right, all three of us would get a smartie. So my siblings used to chase me around the house just before ‘the game’ with the flash cards, making sure I knew what the card said, because they wanted the sweets.

It doesn’t have to be smarties (or other sweet for that matter), but the bribery worked well it seems.

Image source: The_other_half4458


I’m not sure this qualifies as unethical but my kids sure thought it did.

When they were young, they has difficulty gaining weight. It wasn’t that they weren’t eating, their metabolisms were just too fast. One of the thing the doctors recommended was giving them milkshakes every morning. This would pack in the calories but we realized it would also fill them up so they wouldn’t get some other nutrients and especially any fiber. I began adding chocolate flavored protein powders and frozen spinach (turns out frozen spinach is close to flavorless). One morning they caught me throwing the spinach into the blender and had a fit. I told them this was the first time I tried it and promised not to do it again. The next morning I added it anyway as well as some chocolate chips so they’d have a special treat as an apology.

It was adorable having them come up to me and tell me it was the best milkshake I’d ever made with tinybgreen bits of spinach in their teeth.

BTW they’re now in their 20s and are nearly a head taller than me & my wife.

Image source: DaddyOhMy


Image source: Keljameri, Hunter Johnson / pexels (not the actual photo)

If they lie to me, their tongue will turn purple.

the hesitation when you ask them to show you their tongue if they’ve lied.

Hack ruined when 3 year old (youngest child) had them all sit in front of the mirror, tell lies, and check each other’s tongues.


Image source: ano-ba-yan, Polesie Toys / pexels (not the actual photo)

We do “toy rotation”! When they start getting bored of their toys that they have out, we pack them up and pull the other boxes out of their closet and unpack those. It’s like Christmas all over again. No new toys, they’re the same old toys, but they love it. We rotate them every month to 2 months.


Image source: Cumulus-Crafts, Hardeep Singh / pexels (not the actual photo)

I dunno if it’s truly unethical, but don’t react when your kid falls over. The first thing your kid will do once they have fallen is look to you, and if you panic, they’ll panic and start crying.


Image source: BabesTina_69_, Ketut Subiyanto / pexels (not the actual photo)

Ensure your kids won’t bother you by telling them to wake you up in an hour so we can start cleaning the house – they will do anything to avoid waking you.


Image source: swayy1141, Johnny McClung / unsplash (not the actual photo)

If a kid is upset and crying, have them drink some water “it’ll make you feel better”. They can’t cry and drink at the same time, and generally calm down quicker so you can actually figure out what’s going on. (Or they realise whatever they bumped doesn’t actually hurt)

Works great in a class full of 4 year olds.


I tell my kids that the internet “closes” at 8PM and it’s not back on until 8AM the next day so they dont try and go crazy with the screen time. Really, I just shut off the router.

As a bonus, it’s better for me and my husband too because we have no choice but to put down the screens and talk to each other or listen to records together until its time for us to go to sleep. It’s actually quite nice. Highly recommend.

Image source: vivrant-thang


This may have worked better for me since one of the kid’s parents has hearing loss, but I told my 4-at- the- time nephew that I couldn’t hear whining but if he would like to try again in a different tone of voice, I could understand him better – right now I could see his lips move but that was all. He did an admirable job with modulation after that and I got him what he’d asked for.

Image source: auntiepink007


Image source: randymcatee, Rags Fehrenbach / unsplash (not the actual photo)

Did you miss not having model rockets as a kid?
Buy them for your kids.
Buy ALL the toys you wish you had when you were a kid (and enjoy them with or without your kids).


I got one. I foster “difficult” teen boys. Obviously their home life wasn’t great and they imitate some b******t behavior. When I set boundaries they don’t like a lot of kids want to physically fight me because that’s the way they’ve learned to solve problems

OK so here’s the unethical part. If they want it I am the one. We glove up and go to the back yard. I block and dodge until they’re gassed, they cry out of frustration and we hug it out.

I’ve gone to work with a shiner more than once. But the kids learn that no matter how bad you are there’s always someone badder, tough guy s**t don’t make your problems go away, and a physical contest makes you feel better

My kids have been thrown out of school, Foster homes, alternative learning schools, every program they’ve ever been in. Having an outlet for that energy and anger helps but it’s not exactly ethical to tell a kid if they want it they can come get it .

Image source: Ate_spoke_bea


Teaching your 6yo daughter how to throw a proper punch then sparring with her for a bit reduced her class room bully who terrorized everyone to a much better behaved young man….. at least around her. .

Image source: Sadrcitysucks


Image source: moratnz, Ketut Subiyanto / pexels (not the actual photo)

If you’re playing hide and seek with your toddler, you don’t have to start seeking straight away.

Take a moment. Have a cup of coffee.

Saumya Ratan

Saumya is an explorer of all things beautiful, quirky, and heartwarming. With her knack for art, design, photography, fun trivia, and internet humor, she takes you on a journey through the lighter side of pop culture.

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funny parenting hacks, interesting parenting hacks, parenting, parenting hacks, smart parenting hacks
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