Aunts are great relatives to hang out around kids. They’re fun but can be firm. They’re like friends, but they provide adult supervision. Also, they have unconditional love for their nieces and nephews!
But did you know that aunts are scientifically probably the best people to let your kids hang out with? Let’s talk about why.
Here’s How Psychology Explains Why Aunts Make The Best Relatives
1. They Provide Unique Perspectives
Children get their main perspectives and ideas from their parents. They spend all day around their moms and dads, so it makes sense that they form their opinions based on them. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it can be good for kids to get a different viewpoint, too.
Aunts are able to offer a whole new way of looking at the world that can be great for broadening the horizons of kids. Perspective-taking is actually a very crucial part of positive childhood development, so kids can only benefit from finding out about more views.
On top of this, aunts can also provide these unique perspectives in more serious situations. Advice and opinions from parents are good, but sometimes kids may not agree 100% and would appreciate an aunt’s different paradigm.
2. They Can Take Charge
When parents are tired, they can be more willing to let things slide. When an aunt gets to take charge, they are ready to deal with whatever shenanigans their young niece or nephew is coming up with.
- There’s also the fact that parents tend to be a little more strict when trying to take charge of their children.
- Aunts are able to provide a gentler form of discipline that may help the child react more positively.
- This is because they have a little leftover patience since they haven’t spent all day chasing after kids and trying to keep them in check.
3. They Give Great Advice
Aunts are wonderful at giving advice. Not only can they console nieces and nephews, but they can also provide tons of helpful opinions to their adult siblings, too. When parents are tired, confused, or need counsel, aunts can give them the support they needed.
- A lot of times, children don’t want to listen to their parents.
- Sometimes, disagreements and arguments can cause kids to refuse to consider the opinions of their moms and dads.
- Even in the best of circumstances, only hearing one particular brand of advice can skew a child’s worldview.
This is why aunts give such great advice; they’re not close enough to the situation to be biased but are close enough to truly care.
4. They Love To Play
Let’s face it. Most parents are exhausted after a long day with their little ones. Yes, it’s all fun and games, but there’s only so much a mother or father can do before they get worn out.
When this happens, an aunt has all the energy needed to keep their niece or nephew occupied. They’re ready to play all sorts of silly games that don’t make sense, and they won’t tire out right away. They’re also available for snacks and TV while mom and dad do chores and errands!
5. They Can Really Help Parents
There are more hands-on ways that an aunt can help parents. Especially in the early years of parenting, the process of caring for a baby, toddler, or very young and rowdy kid can really take a toll on someone.
- Parents deserve a break, too, and an aunt can provide that.
- It is incredibly important for a parent to have “me-time.”
- It will boost their energy levels, positive thinking, patience, and cognitive ability.
So, the next time mom and dad need a few hours to sleep, go out, or just relax, an aunt can babysit and get the kids out of everyone else’s hair.
6. They Provide Affection and Love
All children flourish when shown love and affection, and these are things aunts just won’t get tired of. Whether they’re cuddling, playing, or just spending time together, an aunt is able to give their little nieces and nephews much-needed attention, building the bond between them.
7. They Spoil Their Nieces and Nephews
There’s nothing wrong with being spoiled every now and then. Parents have to be strict and uphold rules, but when an aunt’s around, kids know it’s time to let loose! And trust us when we say this is definitely not a bad thing at all.
- Plus, aunts are good at giving the best presents.
- They spend time with their nieces and nephews and really understand what they like.
- They also think of the kids often, so they’ll be coming to visit with presents and treats often.
8. They’re Good Listeners
Aunts are always willing to lend an ear to their little ones. They want to provide guidance, and to do that the right way, they know they have to hear out what the kids have to say.
- A lot of children don’t want to share certain things with their parents.
- It may be for fear of being scolded, or because they feel embarrassed.
- Whatever the case, an aunt is someone they love enough to trust but isn’t too close to their immediate family to make speaking to them difficult.
Aunts are happy to listen to secret problems and, unless it’s something that is harming the child, will be able to keep those secrets. Plus, this means that children have an adult to go to with issues when they don’t feel comfortable discussing them with their mom or dad.
9. They Give Cousins
We’ve talked a lot about aunts who are childless in this article but let’s not forget that many aunts do eventually become parents themselves. While this can mean less time for nieces and nephews, it also means that there will soon be more playmates for everyone!
Cousins provide a unique kind of love and friendship, and the bond you forge with your cousin is a special one. For children to be exposed to other kids who they can call family is great for positive development.
What if there are big age gaps? Well, young children can look up to their older cousins, and older children can learn responsibility by looking after the younger ones. It’s a good relationship!
10. They Can Teach
Although they’re associated with fun and games, aunts can also be tough teachers. As the sisters to a child’s mother or father, they are allowed to be strict with the kids when they have to be. Typically, this means they can teach important values and correct children when they’re wrong.
This isn’t to say that non-relatives couldn’t do this, but parents are more likely to be comfortable with a fellow family member teaching their child as they learn and grow as opposed to a friend’s parent.
11. They’ll Tell Fun Family Secrets
Your mom may never tell you about her first crush, and your dad will likely not talk about embarrassing moments of his childhood. Sometimes, for children, knowing that their parents were just like them at some point is helpful to their learning and development.
- An aunt has all the dirt on her siblings, and usually, she isn’t afraid to dish it.
- She’ll talk about how your dad lost his first job, too, or how your mom did that same bad thing you just did.
- It humanizes parents in the eyes of their kids.
- Some people don’t want this to happen, but it can actually make the bond between a parent and child stronger and more positive.
12. They Are Always Kind
There will be times when an aunt has to step up and scold or correct a niece or nephew for bad behavior. But when this happens, they are likely to be calmer than the already tired mom and dad of this child.
Aunts rarely want to start shouting matches with the kids. They want to correct wrongs, talk about how to improve and listen to what the little ones have to say. This teaches positive reactions in bad situations and will help a child with conflict resolution as they grow older.
13. They Can Resolve Conflict
This is especially true for slightly older kids. Sometimes, tensions rise between a parent and their child. Everything grows so emotionally charged that the conflict escalates out of proportion. Both sides can have trouble understanding the other’s perspectives – and this is where aunts can help.
An aunt can listen to their sibling and their niece or nephew and figure out what is truly going on. This allows them to either give good, relevant advice or help the two quarreling family members squash the fight.
14. They’re A Safe Yet Fun Vacation
An aunt can take kids out on fun short holidays and vacations. For parents who have too much work or can’t get time off, aunts are a lifesaver because they make free time that much more exciting.
It’s a great way to teach a kid about independence and responsibility, allow them to feel cool for going on a vacation without their parents, and also ensure that adult supervision is always just around the corner. Then, as they grow, a child – or a teen! – can begin making the trip to their aunt’s house on their own.
15. They’re The Perfect Role Model
Children will look up to celebrities and stars, but they also look up to family for the perfect role model. And who better to inspire them than an aunt? Unlike actors and athletes, an aunt is a tangible, reachable person who shows a child all that they can be when they grow up. And there’s nothing more wonderful than that!
Final Thoughts On Why Aunts Make The Best Relatives
Aunts don’t get nearly as much love as they deserve. They’re shining beacons of positive thinking and good values, they’re loving and affectionate and kind, and they’re always happy to spend the weekend with a niece or nephew.
So if you needed any more reason to let your kids spend more time with their aunt, you definitely have them all now! Also, shout out to all the amazing aunties out there who make the lives of their little nieces and nephews better every single day!