When a new child appears in the family everyone is certain to adore it. This can become a little competitive, in a harmless way of course. Every aunt and uncle wants to see the new baby and as the baby grows up they want to believe they are the favorite. However, although a child may say something diplomatic like “you are all my favorites” this is not true. There can only be one. Follow our tips to ensure that you are the favorite aunt or uncle.
The key is to start at the very beginning. I know that babies and children are very different things. A baby will recognize you but won’t know you in the same way a child will. You may think – I will wait to make an effort until the child is old enough to play with – big mistake! You don’t know when those long-term memories are going to start kicking in so you need to start straight away. In the beginning, it is fine to just give an occasional kiss or cuddle, to play a little peek a boo, but as the child grows up you need to make a real effort to hang out with them.
Don’t come on too strong
We all that one family member that suffocates children. Those children know they have him/her in the palm of their hand and they don’t respect them for it. They take that affection for granted and will seek affection from others instead. If you want to be the favorite you need to be interested but not overbearing. If you visit your sister or brother’s house, say hi to the kid, and depending on their personality give them a hug, a kiss, or a high five. Then leave them alone. Let them take the lead and if they don’t try and put yourself in a situation where they will want to play with you. If the girl loves playing football then go outside and kick the ball, watch as she stands close by and watches, invite her to play. If the little boy loves playing with action figures, start playing with them yourself and watch as he joins in.
Focus on one on one time
At family gatherings, things can get pretty chaotic. When people arrive they all obsess over the kids. This is normal. The kids will enjoy the attention. As the day progresses though the kids will start feeling more and more left out. Conversations will be about topics they don’t understand. Adults will be drinking things the kids can’t have. The energy level will be far lower than what children enjoy. This is your moment to strike. Leave the group and go hang out with one child. Tell them you are a little bored and ask if they want to play a game. This is the beginning of you becoming their favorite.
Connect over a long distance
If your sister lives close to your brother then she will be able to visit the kids more. This makes her bookies pick to be the favorite. There are things you can do. Send them small (inexpensive) care packages so they know you care and arrange zoom calls whenever you can. Try and still be present in their lives because if you are not then how can you be their number one?
These are just a few tips to ensuring you are the favorite uncle or aunt in the family. This is a role that is so much fun as you get to play all the games without any of the drama. To enjoy the role of favorite though, you must first win it.