When they’re supportive and loving, aunts play a critical role in the lives of their nieces and nephews

Whether you’re an aunt of your sibling’s children or the ‘aunt’ of a close friend’s offspring, you’ll love spending time with your nieces and nephews. Everyone loves aunts, but you need to make sure that you’re being a good aunt.

Here are seven great tips that will make you a supportive, caring aunt who will help raise your nieces and nephews the right way:

1. Make tasty treats

An aunt can enjoy fun food moments with their nieces and nephews without all the responsibility, so learn some kid-friendly recipes.

You can even research some treats that the kids can help you to make. Cooking with the kids will give you a fun activity to do and will quickly cement your status as ‘favourite aunt’. After all, everyone loves food, especially kids!

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2. Involve yourself in their lives

The best way to show your love is to take a genuine interest in your niece’s or nephew’s life, from schooling to hobbies and their social lives. As they grow, you could give them a lift to an extracurricular meet-up or even chaperone a school event.

When you take an interest in their daily schedule, your nieces and nephews will know that you’re a supportive, loving presence in their lives.

3. Take lots of pictures

Children grow up fast, so take lots of pictures with your nieces and nephews so that you can hold onto your memories of them as they grow up. Parents love to see photos of their precious little darlings, but be sure to ask for permission before you share any pictures of the kids on social media. Videos are also a great way to capture special moments. Thanks to your smartphone, you can easily snap quality pictures and videos of your precious little ones throughout their lives.

Children grow up fast, so take lots of pictures with your nieces and nephews so that you can hold onto your memories of them as they grow up

4. Purchase age-appropriate toys

As an aunt, you may sometimes babysit your nieces and nephews at your home. Therefore you should stock up on toys and activities that they enjoy. Keep a few simple toys somewhere or even learn to make fun toys that your nieces and nephews will be able to enjoy for years to come. You don’t need elaborate items to make their time with you fun and enjoyable.

Often children enjoy simple toys and games. They’ll enjoy the novelty of your toys since they aren’t the same toys and games that they play with in their own home.

5. Teach them life skills

Empathy, manners and kindness are vital life skills for relatives to model for children. Therefore, help your nieces and nephews learn these skills when you can.

Lead by example so that your niece or nephew sees how they can become a supportive, accepting adult who understands the importance of kindness.

6. Share memories with them

As an aunt, focus on building fun memories with your nieces and nephews instead of just giving them material objects. Gift them an experience or share pieces of their heritage with them. Whether you take them to the zoo or show them photos of old family gatherings, both you and the children will benefit from these special moments.

Of course, always find ways to share silly memories of their parents with them, too!

7. Know your limits

Many children face challenges throughout their developmental years. As an aunt, it’s important that you provide your nieces and nephews with support and love at all times. Some problems, like severe behavioural issues or learning difficulties, require a specialist’s help. If you notice an issue that their parents don’t see, suggest that the parents work with a professional who can ensure that your nieces and nephews get back onto the path towards a happy, successful life.

When they’re supportive and loving, aunts play a critical role in the lives of their nieces and nephews. These tips will help you have a positive influence on your younger relatives and become the aunt that your family or friend needs.