The moment your sibling becomes a mother or a father is truly exhilarating. You have seen them go through all the different life stages and been by their side all that while. And now there’s a new and exciting role waiting for them. But that’s not all. You also adopt a new and important role of a favorite aunt or uncle.
You love this bundle of joy with all your heart and want to give them plenty of laughs and good times. But how do you do it exactly? Especially if you’re not a parent yourself and don’t know much about babies, this may seem too tough to master. Even if you have first-hand experience, this one will be different. Here are 5 top tips for an aunt or uncle who wants to shine.
Make fun your number one goal.
When you’re spending time with your little nieces or nephews, making sure they have a great time should be your top priority. Let your inner child come out and play. Now’s the time to do all the lovely, goofy things you wanted to do when you were a kid but may not have been allowed to. For example, you can have an amazing day out in nature with the little ones, having a picnic and roaming the great outdoors, or you can pay a visit to a trampoline playground and play around to your hearts’ content. Let your imagination run wild, don’t be afraid to act silly, and you’ll always be able to put a smile on your niece or nephew’s face.
Make sure you’re on the same page with the parents.
Fun and games will definitely be your number one concern when you’re babysitting the precious little ones, but don’t forget to also take their parents’ wishes into account. After all, you don’t want to get on your big brother’s or little sister’s bad side. Even though you may be tempted to shower your nephews with lavish gifts, if their parents prefer a more minimalistic approach, respect their decision. Or, like many aunts and uncles, you may love buying them candy, but if you know they’re not allowed sugar, try to go by that. When it comes to gifts, make sure you find out what they actually need and use.
Don’t overdo it with unsolicited advice.
If you’re the one who’s more experienced in the parenting department, you may be eager to give advice and help out your sibling who’s still learning the ropes. Any kind of help is usually much appreciated, especially with a newborn, so they’ll probably love the fact that you’re willing to share your first-hand experience. However, be careful not to impose your way of doing things as gospel. Every child and every family is different, so you should let your sibling learn for themselves. Your support will mean a lot as they adjust to this new and important role.
Stay engaged even if you live far away.
Some aunts and uncles are lucky enough to live close to family and they get to see their nephews grow every day. Others don’t have the same luxury. However, even if that’s you, it doesn’t mean that you can’t take part in the little ones’ lives. Get ready for long Skype sessions and look forward to hearing from your family whenever you get a chance. Put in some effort in keeping in touch and it’ll be almost like you live in the same neighborhood. And they’ll be over the moon when you come and visit them!