My brother Andrew is four years younger than me.
That meant he was the perfect age for me to boss around. He was the perfect student in my pretend classroom, he bought all of the items from my pretend store, and he dressed up and acted in all of my plays. Poor kid.
Luckily, he survived childhood with a crazy older sister and is now a student at Oregon Law School.
Yes, another brother is far away from home (Read about my youngest brother Bill in 20 Songs to Sing with Your Baby).
Fortunately, Andrew took a year off to be at home before heading to law school. During that time, W and his cousin were able to spend quality time with their amazing uncle.
W just loves his “crazy” Uncle Andrew. When Andrew would walk into the room, W would immediately flash a huge smile. Then, Andrew would pick him up and throw him in the air. W would laugh and laugh. Andrew is really so good with the babies.
Even though he is on to do great things in Oregon, we will most certainly miss him back here on the East Coast. Family get-togethers just aren’t the same without him- the life of the party.
So, in honor of my younger brother’s birthday, here is a list of ways to be an amazing uncle- just like Andrew.
How to be an Amazing Uncle or Aunt
- Smile, Make eye contact and Have Conversations: A lot of people aren’t really sure what to say to babies. On her blog The Military Wife and Mom, Lauren wrote about how frequently adults fall back on complimenting looks or outfits when meeting kids. Andrew is different though. He smiles, looks the babies right in the eye and has a conversation with them. You may not be quite the talker like Andrew, but it really means a lot to children when you make an effort to talk to them as people.
- Listen: This goes along with number 1. W may not have much to say right now (yes, more, ball, food), but it is still important to give babies a chance to express their feelings. If you start listening early, it’ll be easier to get your niece or nephew to open up as they get older.
- Dance, Sing, and Be Silly: It doesn’t take a whole lot to entertain children. You don’t need to be Louis C.K.. Children love when you make silly faces, sing songs or dance. Andrew loves music and going to music festivals. He would frequently play his “interesting” music for the babies. I may not be into it, but the babies definitely enjoy it. Andrew had W and his cousin bouncing up and down, dancing along.
- Be there: I don’t mean you have to physically be there all the time. Although that would be ideal, it’s not always possible. We were very fortunate Andrew got to spend so much time with W and his cousin before he went to school. Even though Andrew is 3,000 miles away we still get frequent updates. What would we do without technology?
Aunts and Uncles are just the best (I have 17!). You can have fun with them and talk with them about things you wouldn’t tell your own parents. W is so blessed to have such great uncles and aunts. I look forward to watching the bond between W and his Uncle Andrew grow.
Are you an uncle or aunt or do you have one? What do you like most about being an uncle or aunt? What is your favorite memory of your own amazing uncle or aunt? Let me know in the comment section below!
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