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Kids of any age understand how to hide things from their parents. If you are aware of what kids normally hide, then you will have a leg up in understanding what to look out for.

As kids get older, they understand how to test limits, and they also can be motivated by fear to hide things from you. They may worry they might get in trouble, or that they may hurt your feelings, so they hide things. They may also be trying to avoid punishment, which is often another reason why harsh punishments don’t necessarily help. With that said, here are 6 things kids hide from their parents.

1. Homework they don’t want to do.

Growing up, there were days I did not want to do my homework. So, on those days, I might pretend like I had none, with the intention of doing it in the morning before class. Kids do this because homework seems ‘hard’ or ‘boring.’

2. Something they broke.

When your child breaks an object of yours, they may be tempted to hide it. They do not want to be punished or hurt your feelings, so instead of just fessing up, they hide the mistake.

3. A secret party.

As kids get older and reach their teenage hood, they will begin to want to venture out. Kids have parties and get-togethers, and they aren’t always parent-approved. If you’ve made it clear that no parties are allowed, don’t be surprised if your teen lies and goes to one anyways.

4. A boyfriend/girlfriend.

Another thing that happens as kids get older is they get interested in the opposite sex. They want love just like adults want love, but since not all parents are on board for their kids to have a boyfriend or girlfriend or because they might not be someone you would approve of, they may hide them.

5. Smoking/drugs.

Sometimes kids experiment with things like smoking, drinking, or even drugs. When they do, they tend to hide this from their parents, because there is a negative connotation with these things, for good reason.

6. Bad grades.

If your child has a bad report card, they may hide it from you. If they fail a test, they may not want you to know, especially if you held high expectations for them.