Can a nanny have a favourite?

There will always be moments and even far-TOO-long-and-torturous-times, when one of the little darlings in your care is bound to be more likable than the others.

However, there is never a time when your behaviour towards each one must, and I stress, should not be fair and healthy, and without reproach.

Whilst one may be easier to engage, to enjoy, to be around, or to have fun with, this is a situation that should be a challenge rather than unjust.

Sweet, accommodating, respectful, versus frustrating, disobedient and just plain exhausting. Sarah pushes your buttons with her hyper, head-spinning behaviour, and her more subdued older sibling Jimmy embodies raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens.

Reality is that you won’t be able to sing your way out of a rock and a hard place, but don’t discount a cheery jingle under your breath. Think “The Sound of Music” and smile, Smile, SMILE!

Actually, forget the muteness, warble as loud as you can. Maybe one of you will soon be giggling.

Another approach is to turn this taxing time into an ideal opportunity to reinforce some ground rules and offer learning lessons. Be clear and consistent. Calm. Talk through what’s happening and aim for an outcome of understanding on both sides, even if you are the one stifling the tears. Life is not a TV sitcom solved in one episode, so don’t get too disheartened.

There is much research by learned souls confirming that attractive people favour more attention. Similarly, a cute child can also be more popular and a genetic lottery should not be an excuse for favouritism. Society's standards of beauty and the media don’t help, again no need to deliver inappropriate messages to impressionable minds.

A child is a blank canvas for new experiences. Depending on their age, first times can have a life-long impact so as the nanny it’s your job to make it positive. A happy memory. Constructive.

And when in doubt, hug.

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