So far, we’ve talked about the vital role nieces & nephews play in an aunt’s life. We’ve even talked about how cousins are ready-made friends for life. What we haven’t discussed, though, is why aunts are so important to our kids. Let’s fix that! Below, you’ll find just a handful of the many ways aunties make our kids’ lives so much brighter.
7 Reasons Why Aunts Are So Important to Our Kids
“My aunt has ears that listen, arms that hug and hold, a love that’s never-ending, and a heart that’s made of gold.” That quote says it all, doesn’t it? Our sisters (be it by blood or by friendship) play such a unique and wonderful role in our kids’ lives that it’s hard to know where to begin to describe all they have to offer. Let’s just dive in, shall we?
1. Aunts know how to listen without judgement
Aunts have a unique ability to listen to our kids without judging them and without doing the total “mom freakout.” Sure, we want our children to be able to tell us anything. Let’s not kid ourselves, though; it’s hard not to lose your cool at times. For example, your teenage son tells you that he went to a party where kids were drinking, but he didn’t give into peer pressure. You tell him that you’re proud, thank him for coming to you…then figure out a way to make sure he never hangs out with those friends again. Aunts know how to just listen, period.
2. They teach kids about spontaneity and other small yet vital life lessons
A friend once told me a story that illustrates this point beautifully. One afternoon, as a young child, my friend was swimming in the community pool. Her aunt Dee stopped by on her way home from work. She got out of the car, walked over to the pool…and jumped right in! In her heels, her stockings, her work skirt, her blouse, her jacket, her perfectly coiffed “all business” bun! Just dove in!
That single moment of utter spontaneity seemed so silly at the moment and made my friend laugh. Years later, though, she realized just how much it taught her. Sometimes, when you see an opportunity, you just have to take it. If you pause to think too long (or take off your business suit) you could lose the chance. The sun could go down. The clouds could burst and pour rain down on you. So, grab life by the horns and take a chance.
Sure, we moms could do the same thing. We know how to have fun, too, right? Here’s the thing, though: our kids are so busy absorbing the great big lessons we have to teach them about life that it’s easy for them to miss our smaller lessons. Aunts are all about those smaller- yet positively vital-life lessons.
3. Aunts show our kids a whole new world
Both far and near, both literally and figuratively, aunts show our kids a part of the world that we simply can’t. As much as we’d love to take our children on adventures far and wide, we have neither the means nor the time to plan epic vacations every weekend. What we can do, though, is pack them up and send them to Auntie’s house up north or down south, then rest assured that they’ll be as safe as they would with us.
Even if our kids just spend a weekend with their aunt in the same town, chances are pretty good that they’ll experience it in a whole new way. Maybe you have horrible allergies that make hiking a nightmare, but your sister loves the outdoors. Perhaps she adores art galleries while your tastes run more towards science museums. With her, your kids get to experience those local nature trails and learn about the arts from someone who is actually passionate about them. From the grand vacations to the smaller moments, every minute your child spends with your sister is a chance to learn something completely new.
4. Aunts are full of patience
Aunts seem to have a never-ending supply of patience when it comes to our kids. Probably because they haven’t heard little Tommy’s story about the cool firetruck 700 times already, or little Susie’s litany of reasons why she can’t eat her brussels sprouts! Maybe because they don’t have to deal with the complexities of raising our kids- bedtime and bath time struggles, homework woes, planning 21 healthy recipes plus snacks every single week (and actually getting picky little Susie to eat them).
Aunts are just free to be aunts, so patience comes more naturally to them. Sure, we try to maintain patience at all times, but let’s be honest, it’s hard! Even when we’re not showing our impatience, our kids can sense it. With Auntie, though, there’s never that underlying sense that they’re getting on mom’s last nerve. It’s a very freeing feeling for our children.
5. They know all the best family secrets
If you want to know what your mom was like as a child, ask your aunt! Mom isn’t going to tell you about how she got in trouble for skipping class when she was your age, but auntie sure will! Sure, there’s a few secrets we wish our sisters would keep to themselves. Here’s the thing, though- all those stories make you more relatable.
We tend to think that confessing our deep, dark childhood secrets sends a message to our kids that if we did it, so can they. However, it really shows them that all people- even parents- make mistakes. That’s an important lesson, wouldn’t you agree? Plus, it’s just plain fun for our kids to feel like they know something super juicy about mom and dad!
6. They give our kids cousins!
Remember how important cousins are to our kids? Well, they wouldn’t exist without aunts (and uncles)! The neat thing? Even when our sisters become mothers themselves, they still retain those unique “auntie” qualities with our children. They can be completely frazzled by their own kids, but still totally patient with ours. They’re just plain magical that way!
7. Aunts are an entire village rolled into one
Like they say, it takes a village to raise a child. Our sisters are like an entire village wrapped up into one beautiful package! Our kids know that they can go to Auntie when they need an extra dose of a mother’s love and support, and she’ll be ready and willing to give it. They know that she will be a friend when they need advice, a therapist when they need a nonjudgmental ear, and a playmate when they’re bored.
They play the same role for us moms, too. They’re our support system, our closest companions, the one person who will say, “You’ve totally got this parenting thing!” Like I said a whole village in one!
I’ll leave you with one more quote about aunts that I absolutely love. “Only an aunt can give hugs like a mother, keep secrets like a sister, and share love like a friend.”