Anyone who lives with someone else, who has been friends with someone else for a long time, or who has otherwise been in close contact with another human being knows that everyone has secrets – and when you find one out, the best thing you can do is hold onto it until the day it comes in handy.

There’s no need to bust your kids for every little thing, basically, but to just tuck those secrets away for a rainy day (in case it ever comes).

These 17 parents have stumbled across some doozies that they’re letting their kids keep…for now.

17. I do not know how I would handle that.

The absolutely atrocious way her father and stepmother treat her.

Small stories come to surface but she’s sworn to secrecy and I can’t actually prove anything.

She’s 11 and asks about very specific mental conditions she’s “heard of in movies” she overeats constantly and sleeps with all her lights on here…

If you think I haven’t tried everything in my power to protect her, you underestimate how good some people are at putting the fear of God in their children when it comes to hiding the fact that they torture their children emotionally.

16. Oh, bless his sweet little heart.

My poor sweet kindergartener confessed with tears in his eyes that his imaginary friend wasn’t real. That he’d never been real. That he’d been lying.

I had a hard time keeping a straight face as he poured his heart out about the guilt that had been eating him alive for being a “lying liar who lied to his mom.” Then I hugged him and fessed up that I knew.

We talked about his friend’s baby brother who was almost 3 and had an imaginary friend Mickey Mouse.

Did he really think this baby was playing with Mickey Mouse when he had to go grocery shopping with his dad while his big brother played on the trampoline with my son? Did he think this little guy was a bad person for saying he and Mickey Mouse had ice cream and played games in his magic house just because he was jealous about not being able to stay and play?

We talked about how he created his imaginary friend when he was only 2. How he uses his imaginary friend to talk about things that were bothering him. Like when his dad wemt out of town for 3 weeks and he was scared he wasn’t coming back and afraid his dad left because he broke some stuff while playing.

Oh how he squirmed to realize I knew he had been talking about himself and not his imaginary friend’s family!

Anyways, it was a good talk. He seemed to realize it was okay to talk about uncomfortable or scary things using an imaginary friend and that I wasn’t deceived or mad about it.

Since then, the imaginary friend has shown up a few times. Like when it got a love letter from a girl at school the same age and didn’t love her back. Or when the “purple cat” saw another kid eat a bug on the playground and wasn’t sure if he wanted to still be friends anymore.

15. Readers unite.

My sister and I thought we were so sneaky waiting for our mum to walk down the stairs after wishing us goodnight so we could turn the light back on and read.

We’d hurriedly turn it off again when she turned on the staircase light and stomped upstairs to bed herself.

Never occurred to us she stomped deliberately.

14. Also her hands are dry.

My three year old tells me she washed her hands after going to the bathroom…

She can’t reach the faucet on her stool.

13. That’s a doozy.

Mine’s quite the opposite…

I knew for years before my Dad admitted it that he had two daughters from another woman.

How did I find out?

I saw pictures of these two young girls in my dad’s stuff. They kind of looked like me. Written on the back “Happy fathers day daddy.”

My dad died in 2006. Me and my full siblings have a great relationship with our 2 younger half-sisters.

12. Moms always know.

When my mom was 16, she had a night job and a boyfriend. She would sometimes say she was going to work when she’d actually go to her boyfriends house.

Her mom knew. Nana sat on that for 40 years.

It’s always fun to watch a 60 something do the “MOM!” with the shocked-teenage face on.

11. I hope they have a dog.

My 18 month old thinks he’s fooling us when we tell him to eat some of his food and he puts it up to his mouth and then slyly drops it.

Nice try kid!

10. No point in lying about it now.

Our son stole money from our wallets when he was 14.

We had two other kids old enough to be able to do that, but we knew it was him.

He’s 22 now and asked him recently.

He confessed and was shocked that we knew.

9. No one wants to play the candy heavy.

Not a parent, but when I was about 6 there was a hole in the wall in my room, and I hid all sorts of candy there.

I would hide Halloween candy there to have later, and all stuff like that.

I kept this up until I was 9 and my parents told me that they had knew all along but just let me have fun with it.

Looking back 10 years later, that was a big brain move.

8. Maybe it was a setup.

My bilingual 7 year old tried to convince me that my English speaking cousin wrote “no papel” on his bedroom door in pencil.

Nope, dude.

Not falling for that one.

7. Those are some understanding parents.

When I started dating my now wife. We were not at the age to legally drink, I worked at a liquor store and my friends older brothers may have accidentally left some liquor around. Well my GF had never had anything other than a small dixie cup of champagne at new years ago I happened to have a half bottle of burnett’s grape vodka that i “snuck” into her house when we thought her parents were sleeping.

Like 10 years later we find out they happened to look out the window to see if it was snowing and saw me grab it out of my trunk. We thought we got away with it 100% and just became a good laugh.

Ironically though, both of my wife’s siblings had their first alcoholic drink because of me and my wife, mainly because they trusted us to not let them go over board when they were going to college age.

6. No one left.

My 7yo thinks I’m psychic because I know he’s the one who ate almost an entire package of Hershey bars.

I pulled out the couch to sweep, saw 5 Hershey bar wrappers back there, checked the high cupboard where I put the package and guess what happened – only one bar left.

I didn’t eat them, my husband didn’t eat them, so that leaves one person who could have and had been suspiciously wired at certain points during the day when we weren’t in the same room as him.

But hey, apparently using my eyes and basic skills of deduction makes me psychic, and that’s okay by me

5. Some people need to be ratted out.

Kind of the opposite.

I thought my parents knew about my brother’s occasional recreational drug use.

He would randomly go into his room or the bathroom and make loud snorting noises. He’d ask for cash every so often with some of the dumbest excuses I’ve ever heard. He’s done the snorting thing literally feet away from parents. Literally did it before a family hike when everyone was in hearing distance. His pupils would get larger than my eyes.

Mom was a bit shocked when I made a joke about it. Turns out they never knew. I genuinely believed everyone knew when it turns out only I did.

Sorry bro.

Didn’t mean to rat you out.

4. We all did it.

Not a parent but I am one of 10 kids. My younger brother got busted for sneaking out of the house.

And hard core (by my parents standard) punished.

Mom made him check in with location tags every hour and he wasn’t allowed out past a certain time. He was 17 or so.

I had to sit my parents down and tell them that all 6 of us older siblings had also snuck out and they were being completely unreasonable.

They’d had no idea.

3. Who can say no to a kitten?

I was the kid. I have always loved cats, and couldn’t stand to see unloved cats. I brought home a lot of kittens and cats over time, to the point that my mom told me I wasn’t allowed to bring any more home, no joking.

So one day, many moons ago, I at about 10 yo went to the Pike Place Market in Seattle and was wandering around when I came across a guy with a box of kittens. I knew I couldn’t bring home a kitten, but I fell HARD for this little black and white kitten. I think I spent an hour trying to figure out how to convince my mom I HAD to have this kitten, and came up with… as I was walking home from the bus stop, a car drove by and someone tossed a box out in front of me. I of course checked it out, and lo and behold, a helpless kitten! Obviously I couldn’t leave it on the side of this busy road, so I had to bring her home!

Mom let me keep her after interrogating me for a while, and I loved my Bootsie so much while she was with us ( she had a seizure disorder and didn’t live long).

About 15 years later, my mom told me she knew I was lying the whole time, but it was such a creative lie, she felt I should be rewarded for it!

2. It’s not a flawless plan, but it works.

Not a parent, but I have numerous little step siblings, three girls and two boys, and I have to watch them often. All of them, besides one of the sisters, are about five/six years old.

It’s pretty funny to see how all four of them will band together in the back yard in full view of the glass sliding door to tell the youngest sister to ask if I can order pizza because “You’re the cute one, so he likes you the most” and then eagerly watching from the trampoline as she does so.

The plan’s a little flawed when the sister straight up says to me “(Names) told me to tell you to order pizza.”

1. More details, please.

Not a parent, but my little sister doesn’t know that I know about her DA account and what she makes on it.

Being a parent honestly has a few upsides, and I think this sort of stuff is definitely one of them.

What secret do your kids only think they’re keeping? Confess in the comments!