Moms and Dads

7 Lessons I Picked Up as an Aunt Raising Toddlers

As an aunt raising toddlers, it can be fun but it can also be challenging.

I am an aunt raising toddlers. At their stage (a two-year-old and one-year-old), I cannot leave them just anywhere because they will likely get themselves into mischiefs and incidents.

Before, it was all about myself and my career. But the pandemic has taught me that there is more to things than focusing on my career. It has allowed me to spend quality time with the boys and be a kid again in my own way.

There was a time that I thought that raising a kid is merely the parents’ job. But in the past decades, other members of the family have played a big role in shaping their upbringing

While I am no expert, I would like to share some insights and lessons I’ve picked up in being a “second” parent.

Lessons I Picked Up as an Aunt Raising Toddlers

1. The different way of disciplining 

aunt raising toddlers

Growing up with my siblings, being spanked with a belt or slippers was a way we were called out for doing something literally wrong. But today, you cannot do that to your child.

For me, the best way I discipline them is to say no, shake my head, or tell them that what they did was not nice. I do raise my voice when I need to be firm but I say sorry afterward. 

2. Budgeting your time

aunt raising toddlers

I will be honest in saying that time management is not one of my strongest points. This has been my Waterloo through the years and even my parents hate it when I do not put importance on it.

When it comes to them though, I devote a big chunk of my time. Even when I am busy writing a story, I have to check on what they are doing like whether they are playing, have had their milk, or if it’s their morning or afternoon nap.

3. Always look out for their actions

aunt raising toddlers

At their stage, they want to explore and would like to put things in their mouth. I always have to have my eyes on them because they might choke on something they put in their mouth or even touch a sharp object. 

The last thing I need is an accident and a reprimand from my siblings on why I was not looking out for them. It just goes to show you will drop everything for them.

4. Patience is a virtue

There will be times that your patience will be tested by toddlers. The tantrums, the crying, the actions, name it, you will likely breathe in and breathe out your frustration. 

But there will come a time that you will just lose it and remind yourself, it’s part of the process of raising a child.

5. Different languages of love

aunt raising toddlers

We all show our love in different ways. In my case, my language of love is buying them clothes, food, or spending time with them. 

But I also try not to spoil them much. It can be challenging but you also want to teach them that they cannot have everything they want.

6. Teaching them important values 

We have been taught by our parents’ virtues and values as we were growing up. As an aunt, I also teach them things I’ve learned by reading stories, making them watch educational shows, or having our quality bonding time with each other.

7. I am a “parent” as well

My sister-in-law told me never to disregard my contribution as an aunt. She once told me that looking out for them while they are at work is already a big help to them. I am grateful that they appreciate that.

An aunt raising toddlers is also co-parenting

Being a co-parent in these circumstances can be challenging. I still have a long way to go in learning but who knows, when I have my own kid in the future, these lessons can be applied.

7 Lessons I Picked Up as an Aunt Raising Toddlers

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