There are a few mildly mean-spirited pranks parents can play on their kids, such as pretending to be disappointed, before revealing something nice. However, parents should first consider how their children will react.
- Bait and Switch Presents
- Candy Prank
- Vacation Prank
- Big Purchase Prank
- Parental Disappointment Prank
Wrapping a dud present like a battery or a single sock can set a kid up for big excitement on their birthdays or on Christmas. Once the parent reveals that the bad gift was a joke and that the kids actually got what they want, all disappointment should be forgotten.
This is a popular parental prank that was popularized by talk show host Jimmy Kimmel. Parents can hide their kids' candy from a candy-focused event like Halloween and see how their kids react when the parent lies and says they ate all their kids' candy.
There are two ways to approach this prank: either tell the kids that an exciting family vacation is cancelled, or pretend that a trip to somewhere kid-friendly is actually a boring trip to a place the kids don't like. Either way, this prank sets kids up to be even more grateful for the vacation they will eventually get.
At least one parent has gotten a lot of YouTube views from telling her kid that she accidentally purchased an expensive sports car. Seeing a kid's reaction to this kind of news can be quite funny.
This prank may be best left to kids who aren't used to getting bad grades or behaving badly, but parents can mess with their kids a bit by pretending to be disappointed in bad news received from school, either in the form of a bad grade or a report of bad behavior.