Being an aunt or an uncle allows you to participate in a unique relationship with your niece. You have more freedom than their parents do which means that you can form a unique bond. Rather than worrying about their nutrition or their grades, you can choose your own path to forming a strong bond with her.

There are plenty of reasons to remain close to your nieces, here are just eight:

She Loves You and Treats You Like a Parent

Having a niece is great because she loves you dearly and treats you like you’re one of her parents. You get to leave an impression on her because she trusts you and looks up to your like she does her own parents.

Yet, you’re not endowed with the responsibility of making sure she’s brushed her teeth before school. That means you can spoil her when you want to and you can say no when you want to. You’re not her parent, you just look like one.

She Loves You for Who You Are

A niece can love you for who you are. Because you’re not telling her what she can and can’t do, she can be free around you. You can also be free around her. With that kind of relationship, you can love each other unconditionally and appreciate each other for who you are.

She Doesn’t Judge You

As children grow up, they often become very judgmental of their parents. They find it hard to see why their parents make the choices they do. But as your niece, she does not need to judge your decisions. In fact, she may see eye-to-eye with you even when your own children do not which can be a blessing when you’re questioning your own judgement.

She Will Grow up Quickly

You probably remember the day she was born like yesterday. Look how much she has grown since then. Her life will fly by before your eyes.

Stop and cherish her now so that you can remember those little moments during her big moments later in life.

She’ll Be a Sibling and Friend to your Own Children

A cousin is not just a relation; they are a friend for life. In fact, they can even feel more like siblings.

Be proactive about inviting your niece into your home so that she can forge bonds with your children. And don’t shy away from bringing her along to that snowboarding trip to Austria. Trips like this help form a strong bond. Remember that your children’s relationships will shape the future of your family. You want that future to be inclusive. Help them form those bonds today by cherishing your nieces.

She’ll Grow Up to Be Your Friend

By adulthood, you’ve come to realize that friends are hard to come by and good friends are even harder to find. But as her aunt or uncle, you have the rare opportunity to be one of her lifelong friends. You can be a good friend to her when she is young and teach her what it means to be a friend.

When she grows up, she’ll become one of your friends, too.

She’ll Teach You About Parenting

It’s funny how so many of the lessons you learn about parenting will not be from books or other parents. The most important lessons you will learn will come directly from other people’s children.

Having a close relationship with your nieces will allow you to see what works and what doesn’t in a whole new light. You’ll see how parenting techniques truly affect children. But more importantly, you’ll see how important a parent is to a child. That is the biggest parenting lesson you could ever learn.

She’ll Teach You About Family

Nieces are able to put things in perspective for you. When you’re in a feud with your partner, your child or even your parents, their insider knowledge and outsider perspective will remind you how important family is to you.

You don’t get to choose your family. But you do get to choose how close you are with them. If you’re lucky enough to have a niece in your life, then you have something truly special. Cherish your time together when she’s young and you’ll be able to spend the rest of your life enjoying her wonderful company.

Featured photo credit: Björn Erlingur Flóki Björnsson via flickr.com

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