AUNTS/UNCLES PLAY THEIR PART TO PROTECT AND CARE FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE IN THEIR COMMUNITY BY ENCOURAGING FAMILIES TO SPEND TIME TOGETHER AND STRENGTHEN THEIR FAMILY CONNECTIONS.
Be a friend to parents that you know. Offer support, reassurance and practical help if they seem to be struggling.
Be a positive role model. Children and young people learn from the people that they spend time with, so make your influence positive.
Spend time with children and young people in your life. By playing, listening and learning from them, you show them that they are important.
Create opportunities for all the children/ young people in your family to spend time together.
If possible, offer to be an emergency contact for the family. Make sure that the children/young people know that you are the emergency contact too so they feel included.
Reach out to new and young parents. It can be a tough time so keep reminding them you can help.
Think about safe and respectful ways to be an active bystander if you see an adult being inappropriate towards a child or young person.
When you see or hear of good things happening make sure you let the family know and congratulate them.
I listen to my niece. Then I challenge assumptions with gentle questioning. Then I listen some more… both to her thoughts and my knee jerk reactions which I try to suppress. I am constantly amazed at her robust ability to deal with life. I guess I provide her with a context in which to express an aspect of herself that she may not show in the context of her loving parents. Shine on!
She inspires me.
When my brother was separating from his partner I just did what I needed to do. I made a big effort not to get drawn into taking sides, but just being there and available to my nephews and nieces. Of course I had a role of being supportive to the adults too, but I made sure I remained neutral for the kids’ sake.