"Most lies are ones our parents told us. Fables get passed through generations," the Sun quoted Kathryn Crawford of The Baby website, which commissioned the study, as saying.
The most common lie told by 84 per cent of mums or dads is that Santa Claus only gives presents to good children.
Other white lies include eating spinach makes you strong and muscly, watching TV too long gives you square eyes, an ice cream van's jingle means it has sold out, and making silly faces will make God cross.
The survey found that 25 per cent of parents even happen to tell little ones that their private parts will fall off if they play with them too much.