There is no denying the important role of the family in a child’s life, but this extends beyond just their parents. There are a special group of women who, while they may not even have children of their own, have taken on the responsibility of influencing, loving and guiding these children in their life – women better known as ‘aunts’.

The term ‘aunt’ was once reserved only for blood relatives, but today the definition is much broader. Any woman that takes on this role, including teachers, friends and even those that we see as a ‘second mother’ can adopt this term of endearment. In fact, there is a whole niche of marketing today that is geared towards a specific group: ‘PANK’ refers to ‘Professional Aunt No Kids’. Women who voluntarily take on this all too important role.

Here are 12 reasons why aunts are so incredibly important:

#1 – They are a constant source of love and affection.

If a niece or nephew is ever feeling down, they know who they can turn to for a little extra love, attention, and support. As an aunt, they are full of love and more than willing to share it, creating a special, unbreakable bond. This connection doesn’t disappear over time, instead, it continues to grow stronger as they age. When all else fails, they know that their aunt is always just a phone call or a message away.

#2 – They are always there to celebrate.

One of the perks of being an aunt is being around to celebrate the good times without having to necessarily take on the responsibilities associated with parenting. For this reason, when there is time to celebrate you can bet that an aunt is going to be excited to join in! This includes birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, and more – and in many cases, they likely have a great gift in hand too!

#3 – They make family functions a little more tolerable.

As a child, there is little as groan-worthy as having to spend time at a family function. Weddings, holidays and reunions are nothing more than a room full of adults asking questions and demanding hugs. However, they can count on their aunt to help them escape for just a little fun or to bring up a good inside joke when they need a laugh.

#4 – They offer adult advice without having to talk to share with one’s parents.

There are some situations that children and teenagers face that they couldn’t imagine sharing with their parents. After all, at that age, it’s nearly impossible to imagine that mom and dad were once young too. If a young one is in need of a little mature advice or guidance, their aunt is more than willing to listen, and they can always be relied upon to keep a secret.

#5 – They often ‘bend the rules’ just a little bit.

Time spent with the ‘fun’ aunt often means that some of life’s more rigid and less ‘fun’ rules can be bent or broken. Looking forward to ice cream for dinner? Interested in staying up past bedtime? These are the moments when an aunt truly shines. After all, rules are made to be broken, right?

#6 – They offer a different view on life.

Growing up, your outlook on life is formed based largely on your opinions and beliefs of your parents. They introduce you to the world, to the way that you interact within it, how to connect with others, and more. However, when a child spends time with their aunt, they are introduced to a slightly different way of looking at all of this. It can help to expand their minds and encourage healthy development.

#7 – They are great problem solvers.

There are times in life when one is feeling a serious challenge, and all the conventional solutions just seem to fall short somehow. Once a child has exhausted the options they were raised to rely upon, they know that there is one last option available. An aunt often brings a fresh site of eyes to the problem, and with that comes new and original solutions.

#8 – They are the best ‘babysitters’.

If there comes a time that parents are in need of childcare, they can often count on a child’s aunt to be there. After all, they love spending time with their nieces and nephews and they understand the importance of keeping them safe (as they also love them dearly). It doesn’t’ help that the kids will love the idea too, after all, who doesn’t want to spend time with their ‘fun’ aunt.

#9 – They are the ‘cool’ adult in a child’s life.

Aunts always seem to be up to date on the latest trends including the hottest movies, most popular celebrities, and more. If a child is looking for some fashion advice they likely aren’t going to turn to their parents, but you can be their aunt is going to know the popular brand names and style choices!

#10 – They look for any opportunity to hang out and have fun.

Time spent with their nieces and nephews is a choice, so they will do all they can to make the most out of it. This is especially true if an aunt is lucky enough to have common interests with their nieces and nephews, leading them to attend festivals, concerts, conventions and more together. Is a new, exciting movie coming out in theaters? Sounds like a great reason to spend some quality time!

#11 – They are the biggest cheerleaders.

There is little that makes an aunt happier than to see their nieces and nephews exceed in all that they do. They love to hear all the stories, watch the videos, attend football games and piano recitals. They’ll be right there, front and center, cheering with all their might. For this reason, when something good does happen they are often the first one to get a call.

#12 – They help to teach morals and values.

The direction that an aunt is able to provide can help a child in the formation of their morals and values. These are the beliefs that help to guide our every thought and decision in life and shouldn’t be taken lightly. The important life lessons of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ aren’t taught in a single moment. Instead, these are ongoing lessons that can be influenced not only by their parents but also by the example that their aunt demonstrates.

Image via You Are Mom

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