When I got married, I officially became an aunt to a niece and nephew. Excited to develop real relationships with them, I wanted to set a good example of awesomeness and responsibility at the same time … and also spoil them with utterly ridiculous gifts and memorable experiences! Now, as an aunt to five nieces and nephews, I’m starting to understand what it takes to earn the title of “Cool Aunt.”
Being a cool and involved aunt or uncle is a choice. Unlike parents, there’s no legal obligation to put in the effort. But it’s a boon to nieces and nephews, as well as their parents. When it comes to being a cool aunt it’s not a competition; the more the merrier.
Listed below are 13 examples of what being a cool aunt is all about—starting with tips from five of the coolest aunts (and nieces) that I know!
1. Be There When It Matters Most
“Being a cool aunt means attending important sports or school events or springing them from school for special birthday lunches.”—Amanda King
2. Plan Legendary Weekends
“I had an aunt that would pack up all the nieces and nephews and we’d do ‘Yes’ weekends. She’d plan activities but she’d also let us get special desserts. She even took us to the top of a revolving skyscraper restaurant to have kiddie cocktails, Shirley Temples.”—Lisa Haller Liou
3. Share Lifelong Passions
“Growing up, every time I made honor roll, our school gave us tickets to White Sox games. My aunt, a die-hard Cubs fan, would take those tickets and donate them. Then, she would take me to Cubs games every time. She helped me become the die-hard Cubs fan I am today.”—Julie Zulanas
4. Build Trust By Spending Quality Time Together
“When my niece was eight, I took her to the state fair where her favorite artist Fergie was performing. I got her all the way to our floor seats before she figured out she was at her first concert. It is important to have experiences like these with them. It instills a trusting friendship as they grow. As they get older, they come to you and share their secrets with you. The cool aunt gets to guide them and help them make good choices.”—Nancy Keegan
5. Give Presents For No Reason
I love shopping for my nieces and nephews. One birthday and one Christmas each year wasn’t enough, so I put together a summer gift box. I included cute clothes and games my niece and nephew could wear and play with during the summer. The best part was seeing their excitement opening the surprise box.
The “#coolaunt” hashtag on Twitter offers even more ideas to up the ante for your nieces and nephews.
6. Being A Long-Distance Cool Aunt Just Takes Creativity
— Sarah Milianta ? (@MiliLaff) November 3, 2017
7. A Cool Aunt’s House Is A Safe Space
— BellaBooDC (@BellaBooDC) October 17, 2017
8. Cool Aunts Stay Up On The Trends
My niece has me in a group snap with all of her friends #coolaunt
— darbs (@darbyallyson_) September 26, 2017
9. Cool Aunts Let You Push Boundaries Without Going Overboard
— Ken from Chicago (@KenFromChicago) September 16, 2017
10. Cool Aunts Make Sleepovers Extra Special
— Mel C (@mclapp23) September 3, 2017
11. Cool Aunts Foster Their Nieces’ And Nephews’ Passions
— ★ cassidra taylør ★ (@cassidrataylor) August 11, 2017
12. Cool Aunts Share Amazing Experiences
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) June 26, 2017
Want proof of how a child that grows up with a cool aunt can turn out? Look no further than Wonder Woman! But even if you aren’t a mythical butt-kicker, you can be a cool aunt. This is a tribute to all the awesome aunts out there!