This week a friend asked me to be a “cool auntie” to his daughter. A mighty role, I must say, which I most humbly accepted with a drunken, “Hell ya!” As I have no plans to bear children of my own, being a cool aunt is a perfect combination of moderate kid hang-out time and low everyday responsibility. I like kids – actually, I think it’s more that I like kids’ activities and it’s becoming more and more difficult to find big kids who will colour and make snow angels with me.
I plan on taking my Cool Aunt title very seriously so I’ve started thinking about what kind of wisdom and activities, besides colouring and winter culture I can provide. What kinds of things do four-year-olds need to know? She’s starting school soon so I think I’ll start there.
How to make friends:
I’ve always hated the advice, “Just be yourself”. It’s so much harder than it sounds. Really, when making friends, you should “Be a listener.” People like people who are interested in them. Ask questions. Share some food or some gossip. I always go for gossip first (yes, a terrible habit) but if you must resort to food, don’t be the girl who brings cookies for everyone on the first day. This will make you the people-pleaser and nobody cool likes that.
Don’t worry about being cool.
This way, even the “cool people” will secretly admire you.
Being smart is the new cool. Read everything you can. Not only will you be smart but you’ll have knowledge you can share with potential friends. Curious George did what?! No!
Everyone is just as scared as you.
This is something I still remind myself of sometimes. Starting something new can be scary but remember that everyone is in the same boat. Don’t ever think you’re not as good as anyone else.
Unless you get hit first. I know Mom and Dad will say don’t hit at all, but Cool Aunt says it’s okay…sometimes.
These may not be the torn from the books of Confucius but I think they’re a good starting off point. I’m sure my Cool Aunt job will be more like tip number one and I’ll just have to listen to her rant about her parents being unfair and school be boring. I hope I can do that. I hope I can remember what I would have wanted to hear. I remember being a teenager and saying, “I’ll never forget what it’s like. I’ll be the best mom ever.” Well, guess what?…
What else would you tell a four-year-old? What would you tell your four-year-old self? I’d love to hear your ideas to help me be the coolest aunt ever.