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16 Foolproof Ways To Be The Cool Aunt Or Uncle You've Always Wanted To Be

You can never go wrong with silly songs.

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We recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us their secret to being the cool aunt or uncle. Here are some of the best tips:

1. Be the aunt or uncle you wish you had.

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"I'm the kind of aunt I would love to have. I try to not stifle my niece if I can help it. When she messes up, I make her accountable for her actions and explain why. I tell her I love her. I let her use my cell phone. I buy her artist-quality paint. I also give her the chance to travel. I want to help her become a global citizen and have a life outside of her backyard. Being the favorite aunt is not easily obtained. You don't have to just get a kid's attention, you have to keep it."

—Ashley Trotman, Facebook

2. Play your niece or nephew's favorite games with them.

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"I play Pokémon Go with my 8 year old nephew. I follow the news and updates, find nests and take him hottest spots to help him complete his pokedex. He started texting me daily about Pokémon, but now he just texts me to chit chat about his kid life."

wedgered2

4. Focus on experiences, not gifts.

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"I strongly believe that birthdays are for experiences instead of presents. So instead of buying them a thing for their birthday, we'll go to a concert or on a trip or something fun like that. We're also big Comic-Con people. There are two per year where I live. Each of the kids goes with me on a rotating schedule, and we go all out. We spend a lot of time planning and building perfect costumes. It's so much fun."

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5. Act like a kid, plain and simple.

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"My husband and I are officially the cool aunt and uncle. I guess it's probably because we have no kids of our own, and still tend to act like kids sometimes ourselves. We have the 'cool house,' filled with video games, a trampoline, a foosball table, and all their favorite board games. We bring them to our house to stay with us for weekends, and stock the house with their favorite goodies to eat. We cook for them, take them out for ice cream, take them kayaking, and out to play mini golf."

mrsh810

6. Remember that quality time + unconditional love = a winning combo.

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"My five-year-old niece loves me because together we have fed giraffes and spend 'girl' time together. My three-year-old nephew loves me because I've taught him 'fancy kisses' (ya know, the double cheek ones). As long as you realize it's quality, and not quantity time, its good. They don't need shit, just someone who gives them unconditional love. THAT makes the best aunt/uncle."

carolinegates22

9. Treat them like they're your equal.

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"I think it's important to take your niece or nephew seriously. They watch you doing something and are curious about it? Explain it, maybe let them try themselves. They want to show you something? It's important to them, so take your time and ask them about it. I'm 10 years younger than my 12-year-old niece's mother, so I know most of the stuff teens like nowadays (her mother is not *that* into these things). We used to joke around in internet slang, go to cool shops and try on nice outfits, get some Starbucks and Instagram our drinks together and so on, just doing things together we both like. I treat her as a friend, and that's what she appreciates and what makes our bond special."

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11. Play with them for literally as long as they want.

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"I play with my niece for hours (HOURS) and she does not get tired! I think it's about giving them all of your attention and engaging with them in every little step."

—Sumer Robertson, Facebook

12. When in doubt, sing some silly songs.

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"My nephew is 18 months old. He loves silly songs. Teach him a silly song with hand motions and a funny dance and he'll love you forever. He's also figured out that I am the person who will read the same book to him 50 million times in a row if he wants me to."

—Rhonda Watts, Facebook

13. Be a constant source of support and encouragement.

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"I engage in what my nephew likes when he likes it. When he was little, peek-a-boo was the funniest thing, and so I did it with him until he didn't want to anymore. Now that he's older he likes gaming very much and wants to be a YouTuber, and I fully support that with all that I have. I try as much as possible to stay updated on new games so I can talk with him about it, even though it's hard to remember all of it. And I'll keep supporting him, however I need to, because there are too many people out there who can tell him he can't achieve his dreams and I'm not going to be one of them."

—Trine Dragsbæk Weitmann, Facebook

14. Know that your lap is probably their favorite place on earth.

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"Not only do I manage to pick out the best gifts for my five-and-a-half-year-old niece and a two-and-a-half-year-old nephew, but I provide each kid activities and attention based on what each one needs. Also, I've let both of them take over my lap and various points and thus forgone eating. Nothing makes a toddler happier than getting to sit and enjoy a meal from the prime location of an auntie's lap."

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15. Get meaningful tattoos with them when they're old enough.*

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"I tell my amazing nieces that I love them to Saturn and back (its farther than the moon). When the middle one was old enough, we got matching Saturn tattoos (her idea). I have mine on my shoulder as she will always have a shoulder to cry on. Hers is on her back because I will ALWAYS have her back. (Yes, she has a good foot on me in height.) Aunt/niece level up."

odess

*with parents' permission, obviously.

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