Are you a bad nanny if you tell little Sammy his noisy car/dinosaur/robot that has given you a monster headache, is broken? (When he wasn’t looking you switched the batteries so it can’t work)

“Oops, it seems to have stopped. It must be tired and needs a rest. Let’s read your favourite car/dinosaur/robot book while your toy recovers and is happy again”.

Whether you call it a strategy or an outright blatant fib, it can make the difference between a little disappointment becoming a major meltdown. Well, hopefully.

One of the first lessons we teach children is to always tell the truth and yet as adults we justify these “falsehoods” to make them happy and to keep the peace. It starts with Father Christmas and the Tooth Fairy and continues through to “I have no idea where all those sweeties from your party favour disappeared to … maybe they disintegrated in a chemical reaction when exposed to the air in the cupboard/drawer”.

If you wish to avoid clocking up more dentist visits from regular sugar fixes or provide a reasonable solution to the vanishing lollies, I take the latter option. Sometimes a rational answer is not acceptable to a frenzied four-year-old doggedly demanding a lollipop, and so you make it easier for them and you.

“Nanny V, I NEED this Lego/Barbie/a new WII game”. Why is it every time you walk into a shop, a new toy must be purchased? A simple “no” or “not now” does not suffice so another untruth seems to slip out of my mouth.

“I read in the paper today that this particular model has a manufacturing defect and it’s best to wait for the next release…yes I’m disappointed too but we just have to be patient”.

One could say (tongue-in-cheek of course) a healthy nanny-child relationship has an element of dishonesty.  Integrity and ethics versus Reality (with a capital R) is the reason I sometimes choose the less problematic path and I know this window will close all too quickly once the kids are old enough to Google and catch me out.

What then? Hmmm, maybe it will be time to ask the UN to send out a professional negotiator to help me out.