This boyfriend of hers happens to have a nephew and a niece. Lucky man! So, this sort of makes her an Aunty. Eventually, we all assume, she will officially be an aunty when she makes an honest man of this bloke and meets him at the end of the aisle. Until then, she is an Aunty in training and I'm writing this month's series "How to be an Awesome Aunty" just for her!!
I'm really excited about sharing my 15 years of experience in this area of Awesome Aunty-ness so that more of you parent's sisters can be awesome too. You won't ever be the MOST Awesome Aunty in the world, (unless I die) however, by the end of these 4 lessons you will certainly be able to nominate for the title.
Lesson 1: Learn How to Listen
Aunties are great because they are genuinely interested in what their nephews and nieces have to say. They listen to stories, lists of school friends, retold dreams, Christmas wishlists, playtime activities and secrets. Aunties are also great listeners when it comes to Mums. You see, all Awesome Aunties are not just great with kids, they are great with mothers too. They listen when Mum is tired, cranky and overwhelmed. They listen and share in the joy when mum calls to share a proud Mum moment... "You won't believe what Jack did last night.."
The carefully honed listening skills of the Awesome Aunty allows her to gather information about her little mates (the nephews and nieces) which has a flow on effect when she is gift shopping, helping to plan birthday parties or just hanging out with her favourite kids.
Spend some time with your nephews/ nieces and find out everything you can about them. Don't just learn their age. Find out: their middle name/s, favourite food, favourite dessert, favourite TV show (and why), sporting groups/ teams, are they a mama's boy/girl or a daddy's little girl/boy. What do they want to be when they grow up? who is their hero? what do they eat for breakfast? if they had $100 what would they spend it on? Find out if they like to draw/ paint/ sew/ spit/ run? Find out everything you can about them. If they aren't much of a talker, just hang out with them and pay attention... kids have a way of getting the message across, often without words.
See ya Later Awesome Aunties in Training...
PS. Check out lesson 2 here and the other lessons here.