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Posted by Nanny Knows Best
Nanny Knows Best
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on Monday, 03 February 2014
My job has many perks. One is travel to exotic destinations I would never have had the opportunity to visit if I had to pay for my own ticket. Another is watching a well-made children’s movie (along with the countless mediocre animations) with a happy-ever-after ending…over and over, to the point I can recite the dialgoue.

Last night it was “Nanny McPhee” again. Not that I wish to admit it too loudly, but I think it may have been my choice because of a certain Colin Firth. Nannies need a little treat too.

Hmmmm…ok, back to sensible Nanny V.

Five lessons and 99 minutes is all it took for a little magic and wise utterances to bring harmony and beauty back to a troubled family.

Nanny McPhee’s lessons, necessary for a smoothly run household, are for children:-

1. To go to bed when they are told, to say please, not fight each other, apologise

2. To get up when they are told, and learn how to share

3. To get dressed when they are told, and learn to work together

4. To listen and say thank you

and 5. To do as they are told, and to have faith and bravery.

Also great life lessons and seemingly fundamental you would think. I’d like to recommend a few of these to a number of adults who could do with a little discipline. Sadly, common sense is not an automatic state of being.

Obviously, to learn something new, one initially needs to be told and instructed. Though with time the behaviour becomes innate and reminders unnecessary, and therefore, no nagging. There is a fine line between pestering a child to complete a task you have asked them to do a number of times and yet, it frustratingly remains uncompleted.

At this point magic would be wonderful but we mere mortals can employ explanations, incentives (some bordering on bribery), deals, and work our way through to outright threats. Not the life threatening kind, more like the action/consequence principle Buddhists espouse.

If you haven’t had the pleasure of Nanny McPhee, I highly recommend a viewing. Particularly if a certain Colin is a favourite.

"When you need me but do not want me, then I must stay. When you want me but no longer need me, then I have to go. It's rather sad, really, but there it is..." Bye for now.

Looking for a job as a nanny? Or looking for a nanny?

How is it done?

Posted by Tania Kindersley
Tania Kindersley
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on Wednesday, 13 June 2012

There was no blog last week because I was running up to deadline for my book and all ability to do any other thing was temporarily lost. So now I emerge, blinking into the light, like a faintly deranged woodland creature. (Not one of the adorable fawn-like ones, but one of the lowly, scuttly, muddy ones.)

Sometimes people ask me about writing, as if I should know. I damn well should know. I’ve only been doing it for twenty years. And here is the strange thing: I know exactly how to do it, and I don’t know how to do it at all.

I sometimes say that, after all this time, I can just about carry a tune. What I mean by this is that I have a certain confidence in sentences. I can string them together. I enjoy stringing them together. Occasionally, one of them might contain a little bit of drollery. (It really annoys me that I can’t do that wild, properly funny writing that people like our own Esther Walker can; and I’m not just saying that to suck up to The Lady. In life, I can make people laugh a bit, but on paper there is some reticence, I have no idea what it is, which mitigates against laughing out loud. So I have to settle for the occasional mild drollness.) Sometimes, one of my sentences might even make a point.


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