Be an Inspirational Role Model for Your Little Ones
Written By Savvy Auntie Staff Writers
By Sarah Kaufman, The Manilla Blog
Sarah Kaufman is the managing editor of the Manilla Blog and money-saving contributor from Manilla.com, the free and secure service that lets consumers manage their bills and accounts in one place. Check out the 4+ star customer-rated mobile apps for the iPhone and Android.
Kids, teenagers, and even young adults need a support system that allows them to turn to positive role models outside of their immediate family. While it’s important that they know they can go to Mom or Dad for help, it’s helpful for them to feel like they can turn to their Auntie for support, too.
Here are a few ways that you can be there for your nieces and nephews to really make a positive difference in their (and your) lives:
1. Encourage education, motivation, and work ethic in younger nieces and nephews.
One of the best ways for kids to learn about why they should do well in school is to see how education has improved the lives of their own role models. Teach them why it’s important to embrace education by showing them how it’s helped you in your own career and life.
The initial apprehension may be a result of feeling like their parents hold high expectations for them, or maybe they feel the pressure of their parents wanting them to have a certain job or attend a certain college. Auntie really plays a huge role in not only diffusing some of that worry but in also helping nieces and nephews realize what they’re truly passionate about.
Explain why they should continue to try. Learn what their hobbies are, and consider getting involved or bringing them to an event. A nephew’s car hobby could lead to a career in mechanical engineering; a niece’s art hobby could lead to a career in design; and a cooking hobby could lead to a career as a chef. You might want to take your nephew to a car show, your niece to an animation expo. Show them that they do have to maintain a high level of motivation and outstanding work ethic inside and outside of the classroom in order to succeed.
2. Teach the importance of financial responsibility to the older ones.
With your older nieces or nephews, take the time to show them why it makes sense to manage their money in an organized way. If the money talk with their parents has resulted in a fight over purchasing a really expensive device or piece of clothing, you might consider stepping in to share some of your tips and experiences with money matters.
Show them how to use online and mobile tools to help them manage and budget their accounts. When you introduce them to the right tools early on, they will be more fiscally responsible when it comes time for them to manage their own finances.
3. Be a listener, and be an optimist for all your nieces and nephews.
When something isn’t right at home or at school, listen to the problem and show your nieces and nephews that they can come to you for support when they need help. Talk about your own experiences growing up. When your nephew confides in you about school issues, mention that time you got in trouble for showing up to class late and how you learned never to do that again. When your niece starts talking about relationships, tell her about your first boyfriend. It can be really valuable for kids to hear relatable stories like that one, and it will show them that they can turn to you for more ‘qualAuntie time’ when they need it.
In order to create more opportunities for your nieces and nephews to reach out to you, schedule a bi-weekly or monthly get-together for ice cream or the movies or to grab a bite to eat. The kids will appreciate the time you spend and the advice you give, and the parents will be grateful for the night off!
Published: December 19, 2012