Your Brother or Sister is a Parent
So your brother or sister now has children. You officially take on the new role of Aunt or Uncle. While this can seem a bit daunting, it can also open a whole new world to you. A world of not only enjoying the perks of a new status in the family but, also one of getting to enjoy the fun of being around kids (and a renewed youth) without all the responsibilities of being the parent. Still this can be a scary time, so here are a few tips to help you be the “cool” adult in the family.
- Make Time – Aunts and uncles are the adult a kid will go to in lieu of a parent, often when it is the difficult stuff. Make time for your nieces and nephews. Parents, especially single parents, are often burdened with the hard stuff like providing food and shelter. Offer to step in and give them a break every now and then. Make a point to attend baseball games, school plays and special events. Most importantly, if you say you will be there…be there! Nothing will kill trust with a kid quicker than an adult who is too busy to spend time with them.
- See Them as Individuals – Kids aren’t carbon copies of each other, or their parents. Pay attention to their interests, and dislikes. Take time to get to really know them and their personalities. Talk to them with respect no matter what age; show them you value their opinion.
- Think Memories Not Materials – Don’t use gifts in place of time. Find great things to do with your nieces and nephews that will build memories. These can be as simple as a nature hike or a great time together playing an escape room game. And if a gift is called for (Christmas or birthday) on the occasion make sure it’s age appropriate and meets their interests. That said don’t be afraid to offer up new ideas such as a painting class or trying scuba diving.
- Remember Who Is the Parent – Like it or not, your sibling is the parent. While you are valued in the relationship, their wishes come first in regards to their children. Know the boundaries and never cross them by keeping secrets or allowing behavior (underage drinking, smoking, skipping school, etc.) to go unaddressed. Not only can you damage your relationship with them but also with your sibling.
Have Fun With It
While being an aunt or uncle can be intimidating at first, learn to have fun with it. This can open up a whole new world not only for your niece or nephew but for you.
Looking for a great activity to spend time with your family? Come check out what Paranoia Escape the Room has to offer. We have games to fit all ages and with our latest addition of a virtual reality escape room experience, you can combine your niece or nephew’s greatest loves, playing games and mall shopping. You’ll be known as the “Cool” one in no time.