How To Be An Awesome Aunt

awesome auntWhether or not you’re ready for—or even want—kids, at some point you’re going to be faced with rugrats, especially if you have siblings. Nieces and nephews are awesome, because you have the fun of a baby without the responsibility of putting him or her through college someday. Here’s how to make the most of your newly extended family.

  • Go shopping. How many times have you been to the mall and sighed over their selection of toddler-sized Converse or frilly princess dresses? While the kid is still young enough to influence (or too young to choose!), a niece or nephew can serve as an adorable living doll. A hint: Shop for a few sizes up, because they never stay little for long.
  • Play! Whether it’s a heated Mario Kart race with a nine-year-old or simply spinning around a See and Say, time is the best gift you can give to a child.
  • Read aloud. Igniting a child’s imagination through books will set them up for success later on—just choose your material carefully. Think Richard Scarry over an issue of Star and The Little Engine That Could over Lolita.
  • Show up. Dance recitals, little league games, grade school plays are usually adorable to behold, and they will remember your presence.
  • Show them off. Take your niece or nephew out for ice cream, to a movie, or the park. Being out with their cool aunt will boost their self-esteem and give their parents a breather they’ll appreciate.
  • Listen. Depending on their age, your niece or nephew may have issues they’re uncomfortable divulging to their parents. That’s where you come in: Be nonjudgmental and supportive. If it’s something truly serious, be there when they break whatever news it may be.
  • Be there for their parents. Kids, especially new babies, are exhausting. Offering to run out for formula or change a diaper may be a small thing for you, but will be appreciated in a big way. When their parents are happy, your niece or nephew will be, too.

 

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