I reckon the solution is to buy a lie detector machine

Great news for children everywhere '“ a recent study in Canada has discovered that parents can't tell when their children are lying to them.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 20th April 2016, 6:01 am
Elsa and Anna in Frozen
Elsa and Anna in Frozen

Seemingly, we pre-programme ourselves to believe what our children tell us, but we’re capable of spotting untruths in our friend’s offspring (ha, yes, don’t you always know when other people’s children are Pinocchio-ing).

I’m gutted by this news as I think I know my children well enough to be able to tell who is giving up the truth.

There are certain signals, looking shiftily out the corner of the eye, looking at feet, laughing a little too happily. Blaming one another with the speed of a rocket. We all know our children’s tall tales – or do we?

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There was one occasion when a child of mine stuck their fingernails into an apple – all over it – and then put it back in the fruit bowl.

I never did manage to wheedle out of them who the culprit was, though I have my suspicions. But here was I thinking that that was a one-off, when in fact it appears to be an everyday occurrence.

This has got me thinking about just what else they might be lying about. That’s what’s stumped me because, according to the research, they’re pulling the wool over my eyes regularly – which, even when I take into account the half-truths about who finished the loo roll and didn’t replace it and who left toothpaste smears in the sink, leaves me with a whole mess of what might – or might not – be happening.

I’m now on tenterhooks waiting for something to be said so I can work out whether it’s true or not. And I’m also wondering what they have to lie about.

Of course, I could turn this around and think about my own relationship with my parents and how I can make the most of their ignorance and use it to my advantage. But the sad fact is, knowing that they read this, I’ve already shot myself in the foot.

I reckon the best solution is to buy a lie detector, or invest in a high-quality bedside light to shine in my children’s eyes over the kitchen table while employing my best Soviet bloc accent.

‘Ve have vays of making you talk.’


I was rather disappointed to read an article about Disney films and research that looked at the balance of dialogue between men and women – the number of lines given to each sex in given films.

The rather poor news was that, although many Disney films do have female leads, the lines given to them have (in the main) shrunk through the years, with a mere 30 per cent of speech now accredited to women.

Tangled was better, clocking more than 50 per cent, and Brave. But the rest?

Female lead characters aren’t even the stars of their own movies. Sorry Elsa and Anna, you’ve simply been frozen out of the action because even though you warble your way through the seasons, you’re simply not enabled to speak.


My husband and I have now been married – to one another – for an amazing 20 years.

This length of time astounds me as it has passed so quickly – and also because I’m now someone who says things like ‘it has passed so quickly’.

But it has.

I look at pictures of our wedding at St Faiths (Lee-on-the-Solent) and try to remember what it was like to be that young, when the world was ours for the taking and we were never, ever going to turn out like our parents. And now, with three children, living five miles down the road, I have turned out exactly like my parents.

Time softens the edges in all relationships and I’m really glad to be travelling through life with my husband.