Whether you're a mom yourself or don't even own a house plant, learn to be the best aunt possible to that new bundle of joy in your extended family.
- Step 1: Teach your niece or nephew about a time honored family tradition, a family recipe, or a forgotten trade such as crocheting or knitting.
- Step 2: Evolve as the relationship changes. Go from the aunt that is around all the time to the aunt that can be reached anytime. Be a mentor and friend as they grow into young adults.
- FACT: In 1890, Nancy Green, a former slave, became the official spokeswoman of Aunt Jemima pancake mix until her death in 1923.
- Step 3: Give unique gifts such as a personalized blanket, cup, or shirt. It doesn't have to be expensive but something with their name on it makes younger kids feel special.
- Step 4: Offer to babysit the kids at your place overnight. Use this time to break a few rules, have fun, and kick back. The kids will get a chance to let loose while also respecting their parent's rules when they return home.
- TIP: Don't hesitate to call every month or so if you haven't been able to be there in person.
- Step 5: Make each day fun with things they like to do -- from visiting the local park, playing a game, or just watching their favorite cartoons together. The most important thing is to create memories with them.
- TIP: Take a lot of pictures so you both can remember those special moments later on.
- Step 6: Build a relationship by being around as often as possible. A familiar face will breed trust and as the niece or nephew gets older they'll remember and enjoy your company more.