our everyday life

How to Be a Good Niece

by Lucie Westminster

Trying to be a good member of your family is something to strive for and may not be as difficult as you may think. Part of doing so involves maintaining a positive relationship with each member of the family and including your parents' sister or brother in the mix. The effort you make to be a good niece will improve the relationship you share with your aunt or uncle and leave your parents proud of your continued efforts.

Honor your aunt and uncle on special days throughout the year. This includes birthdays, anniversaries and any religious holidays your family celebrates. A gift isn't always necessary, but some type of acknowledgement like a card or phone call shows you care and recognize the day. If you have difficulty remembering special days, invest in a calendar and take the time to write down everyone's birthday and anniversary, including your aunt and uncle's, so you won't let the day pass by unrecognized.

Pick up the phone and call your aunt and uncle on a semi-regular basis. While you don't need to call them as frequently as you might your own parents, it doesn't hurt to take a few moments to show you are thinking about them every other week or so. Calling on a typical day, rather than always waiting for a birthday, reinforces you care about the relationship and want to be a good niece.

Support your aunt and uncle through difficult times. Because you are more distant than relatives like your mother or father, you may be the perfect individual to offer a unique level of assistance. For example, in the case of the death of a grandparent, sometimes someone in the family more removed from a situation but still knew the person is the best person to be there emotionally for your aunt or uncle.

Include your aunt and uncle in family gatherings. While it's acceptable to have times when you just invite your parents for dinner or a special holiday celebration, consider including your aunt and uncle in the celebration, as well. They will appreciate your efforts and doing so improves your relationship as they become more involved in your own family's life.

Select a few special activities to do exclusively with your aunt and uncle. These experiences are a unique opportunity to spend time with close family who isn't your parents or in-laws. Because you are a good niece, choose an outing that involves something they love to do. Focus on the bonding time and smile throughout the event even if it isn't your favorite activity.

Items you will need
  • Celebratory cards

Tip

  • Ask your mother or father for an idea if you are struggling to come up with an activity to do with your aunt and uncle because they likely can point you in the right direction.

Warning

  • Avoid spending all of your time with your aunt and uncle and don't forget to include other members of your family, as well. You can be a good niece even when other people, including your uncle or parents are around.

About the Author

Based in Texas, Lucie Westminster has been a writer and researcher since 1975. Her work has been published in journals such as "Psychological Reports" and "Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior." Westminster's interests include developmental psychology, children, pets and crafting. She holds a Ph.D. in psychology from Miami University.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images