So you are a doting aunt/uncle to your sibling’s kid and you can’t contain your happiness?
Sure, being an aunt/uncle to a bundle of joy makes you feel like you’re on top of the world.
The joy of having a niece/nephew around without the worries of a parent is a blessing.
Do you, like most aunts/uncles, want to spend most of your time with your little niece/nephew, but always fall short of ideas on how to be a good friend and mentor?
Read on to know how you can make the most of this relationship and strengthen the bond with your nephew/niece.
10 ways to bond with your nephew/niece:
1) Have fun, make memories
It’s amazing to be with a baby or toddler and see him/her smile or laugh at your silly antics. Give him/her a reason to smile. Try to be his/her favourite person.
Make the most of your time with your niece/nephew. Cherish the experiences: capture the moments, take pictures or videos, and take pride in treasuring this relationship.
How about a selfie to tell the world you are the coolest aunt/uncle to the cutest girl/boy?
2) Be a good example
Your little champion probably thinks you’re the coolest company to be with. He/she looks up to you, so do your best to be a good example and role model.
For instance, never use profanities, be punctual, well-dressed, maintain hygiene, and respect elders. Be the good influence.
3) Shape their interests
As an aunt/uncle, you have a great power in moulding your niece/nephew’s personality and interests. Encourage and support him/her.
Take him/her out for a hobby or nature trail. Don’t be someone who comes home with a high-end smartphone for kids to explore! The child should love you, not your possessions.
“Adults, say uncles and aunts, must use their power in moulding kids with utmost responsibility because for kids it’s the age that forms the foundation of their being,” says Somya Batta, who ‘s part of a NGO that works with kids.
4) Give thoughtful gifts
You want to shower your love on your niece/nephew, and gifting is a great gesture. Be somebody who gets thoughtful gifts for kids—books, sports equipment, science games, funky accessories, or school stationery.
Check with his/her parents if there’s something that the kids want that makes for a meaningful gift. Psychologists agree that expensive gifts or fast food isn’t a way to win his/her love. As an aunt/uncle, you are part of family.
So think of things you would want to do with your own child when you’re with your niece/nephew.
5) Be one of them
Kids love to play and have someone who can do things as per their wish. While parents may be too busy, or a repeat option for them, aunts/uncles can be fun people to be around.
“I love spending time with my niece and nephew. I play games with them on a Tablet, have tea with their dolls, draw cats and animals, get my face painted, and do cool stuff.
In return I get pure love and uncountable kisses,” says Udaibir Singh, a media professional from Mumbai. “They like me because I can be a kid and a grown-up at the same time who takes them out for ice cream!” he adds.
6) Follow parents’ rules
Fulfil their wishes, do mad things but don’t break the discipline rules your siblings have set for their kids.
If parents want you not to offer them junk food, or maintain their bedtime respect their wishes. Of course, you can take them out for films and play time, but keep in mind their home rules.
7) Offer to babysit
As aunt/uncle, you can spend good amount of time with your nephew/niece. and also give parents a break. Be ready to take care of kids when your siblings have some urgent work, or an office party to attend. After all, you’re family and kids will be happy to be with you, without an overlooking parent.
Plan your time well and do something special in this exclusive time.
8) Always keep your promises
If you cannot promise, don’t promise. It isn’t cool to make a promise to a child and later forget about it. Remember, kids will not forget.
They are sensitive and have an impressionable mind. So don’t hurt their feelings, or shake their trust. If you have promised to buy them comic books, or take them for a superhero film, do it.
Even parents will not want their kids to be around a forgetful and careless aunts/uncles.
9) Remember important dates
Besides birthdays, try to be with your nephew/niece on his/her important days like sports day, annual day, karate championship, etc. and perhaps, her doll’s birthday!
Witness his/her performance, planning, and joy. Always praise them for their efforts. Give kudos to your little niece/nephew for small achievements. Give him/her a reason to smile.
“My niece is the happiest when I take time out to attend her school events,” says Nisha Sharma, a proud aunt to a 4-year-old.
10) Be in touch
Keep the relationship going on even as the kid grows up. Visit or call often. Don’t wait for a reason or special occasion to be with your nephew/niece . He is the reason, show your love for him/her. Be an awesome Uncle or Aunt!
What are your ideas or tips for being a cool aunt/uncle? Share them with us in ‘Comments’ section!
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