Dear Savvy Auntie,

I recently found out I am pregnant. Prior to getting pregnant, my six yr old niece told me that she would not come over anymore if I ever have a baby. She has been the baby on both sides of her family up until the recent of her aunts baby on her fathers side, and she is still trying to adjust to that.??

She has said that she is a little upset with me, and that she thinks I'm going to love her less. She asked me if we can have a "niece and Auntie Day" which of course, I agreed to. She and I have always been close and I just want her to know that she will always be important to me, and our relationship is not going to change. How do I convey this to her?

Expecting Auntie

Dear Expecting Auntie,

There is something very sweet about your niece’s concern! It is obvious that she treasures the relationship and YOU.  It is also true that many little girls between the ages of four and eight are much like teenagers in their cliquishness and include and exclude friends quickly and sometimes quite brutally. I wonder if your niece has observed or experienced this and is sensitive to this dynamic.

Your inclination to reassure her about your steadfastness is just what is needed! You might add to it by telling her that love can grow to include more and more people without taking away from the ones that exist now. I also suggest you tell her that she will be important as a helper for the new baby. She can do many “babysitter” tasks that make her feel important and grown up.

In addition I would set up a calendar that shows when you will call her, Skype her, and most importantly see her. The last might include actual activities ( baking cookies, going for a treat, and arts and crafts projects). The calendar is a concrete way for her to count on your relationship.

The best of luck!

Natalie Robinson Garfield


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