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How do I get my niece to like me?


Family Parents too demanding? Sibling driving you mad? Tell us!

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Old 2nd March 2018, 10:21 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by CautiouslyOptimistic View Post
I love the pen pal idea!

My daughter is 17 now, but when she was a toddler she was petrified of one of our male friends, who is a very loving father of four (now) himself. It was actually pretty funny because there was zero reason for it. He's quite handsome, smiley, friendly, not over-bearing. Just wanted to be her friend lol! She'd shrink away from him whenever he tried to engage her and sometimes cry. And we only saw him once or twice a month! We actually have a funny picture of this from her first birthday party.

Kids are weird . Who knows why she's not warming up to you yet. But, I'm sure she will someday!

Another suggestion, without sounding like I'm suggesting you're trying to buy her love, is to have little surprises for her in your jacket pocket (I'm saying jacket and not pants because that sounds a little sketchy lol). Little girls love little things like little animal figures, tiny little dolls, candy of course, etc. Maybe you can become known for your little surprises for her. Don't make her "earn" them by giving you a hug or kiss or sitting in your lap. Just let it evolve naturally.
Thanks CO I usually get her chocolates and sometimes a balloon but I don’t do it all the time. Maybe I should be that uncle who’s always got something? I have an aunt who always carried chocolates with her when my cousins and I were kids. I think she still carries them around for other kids. My granddad was awesome too! Not only did we learn so much from him but every now and then he’d give us cash
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Old 2nd March 2018, 10:33 AM   #17
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How can a baby doesnt like you?
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Old 2nd March 2018, 11:14 AM   #18
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When my sis and I were little, my grandparents had a huge drawer in their hutch, always full of candy. We'd always beg to be allowed something from the candy drawer. When I had my own kids, and my dad was still alive, he actually asked me for advice about a "thing" he could have with the kids when he visited us every other Sunday. We settled on surprises from the dollar store . They loved it. My dad would be 76 years old today <3.
Happy birthday to your dad.

My grandparents had a selection of soft drinks. When we visited their home, we could chose a whole can of soda - it was the only time we ever got this! It's funny how you remember these things... such little things, but so many fond memories.
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Old 5th March 2018, 5:01 AM   #19
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you give her things to get something in return. something she doesn't want to give. she has an innate right to choose who she spends time with and she doesn't want to give you what you want.

even at three, it's up to her. nothing against you.

my oldest did not like my FIL. she did not want him to pick her up. he'd do it anyway and she'd try to squirm out of his embrace and when that didn't work, she'd arch her body away from his and turn her face. he would still try to get her affection until i'd intervene.

with my BIL, she'd outright start hollering and crying.so embarassing for us both, since i adore him and it clearly hurt his feelings. but he didn't push.

turns out she was afraid of men with beards and or eyeglasses.

just something to think about.
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Old 5th March 2018, 8:49 AM   #20
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Wow! Huge thanks for the lovely suggestions

For fun, I usually sit with her and play with her toys. But she doesn’t enjoy my company. She mostly ignores me. It’s really weird because most kids love me but my own niece doesn’t. Maybe she’s still too young and hence very attached to mom and dad? She is slowly warming up to me. I love the pen pal idea; definitely going to do that!
You already got so many great suggestions!

Not going to suggest anything, but instead offer perspective.
While it is possible that the child’s mom is contributing to the child’s lack of social-ability, it is also possible that the mom is simply responding to what already is. (How the child Is...inherintly)

My son behaved similarly when he was little. As an infant he literally cried with being held by some people, squirmed with some and was just ok with others. There were none that he sought out and liked, except me and dad. He simply did not like people so much, or being held or such and preferred solo play due to him having mild autism. My son did not get the diagnosis until years later, however, I was often blamed for my son’s natural behaviors of wanting to avoid things. Even when people were not blaming me directly, it was clear they were annoyed with me and felt it my fault he avoided them. I could not make him into who he is not...even if I wanted. He is now in his 20’s... he still prefers less social situations or has select few people who he really likes. Yet the few people he likes he really does get on well with.

Not saying your niece has autism at all. I am saying that people are different for different reasons and that it may be possible that your niece is reserved due to lack of encouragement or such... or possibly this is just who she is for whatever reason. So either way... it is nice that you are taking such a thoughtful approach to connect with her.
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Old 5th March 2018, 10:39 AM   #21
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Thank you for the responses. The other day when I tried carrying her, she was particularly restless and was calling for mommy immediately. When I told her that mommy was busy, she started to cry and i had to give her to my SIL. Brieanna, you speculated that this may be her nature but she’s quite sociable at her play school and she interacts with the other kids at her parents’ building. My feeling is that if her parents left her with us a couple of times a week, she would initially not like it but over time she’d get used to it and start enjoying our company. Currently, her parents are completely against putting her in uncomfortable situations and end up doing whatever she wants. Wouldn’t this spoil her? I guess it comes down to parenting style and if it were me, I would leave my daughter alone at my immediate family’s place even if she threw tantrums.
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Old 5th March 2018, 11:14 AM   #22
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She's young and my suggestion is to continue to keep going around her, despite the situation. She needs to get more and more used to you as a perm and safe fixture. I also recommend playing games with her. Like board games or other games where you can be more like a fun playmate. Bring some new games that she doesn't already have. Have you ever tried to take her out somewhere fun? Kids love that. It's important that these things are your idea and not hers or her parents idea. Also has she ever seen you around other kids or groups of kids? If she sees that other kids like you, she will warm up.

Oh and about the tantrums....

Let the parents see how you handle that. Let them see that you confidently handle it and then they will be more comfortable leaving little miss tantrum alone with you.

Last edited by Popsicle; 5th March 2018 at 11:16 AM..
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Old 5th March 2018, 8:07 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by FilterCoffee View Post
Thank you for the responses. The other day when I tried carrying her, she was particularly restless and was calling for mommy immediately. When I told her that mommy was busy, she started to cry and i had to give her to my SIL. Brieanna, you speculated that this may be her nature but she’s quite sociable at her play school and she interacts with the other kids at her parents’ building. My feeling is that if her parents left her with us a couple of times a week, she would initially not like it but over time she’d get used to it and start enjoying our company. Currently, her parents are completely against putting her in uncomfortable situations and end up doing whatever she wants. Wouldn’t this spoil her? I guess it comes down to parenting style and if it were me, I would leave my daughter alone at my immediate family’s place even if she threw tantrums.
Of course it is completely possible that her parents are enabling the child to be overly dependent on them for rescuing her from uncomfortable situations that she would do better to learn to cope with by experiencing more discomfort. It is possible the child needs to be left more to learn self soothing, distress tolerance or how to interact with other adults.

Also, just because a child may have some issue such as autism or other issue does not mean the parents are not enabling that child.

I simply do not know the “why” of what is going on for this child, nor would I assume to know.... there are too many possibilities. I am only offering one such, to add perspective, fwiw.

Seems in any event... the advice here still is great on ways to connect so....idk that it matters unless you are looking to try to influence her parents.

Last edited by Brieanna; 5th March 2018 at 8:10 PM..
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Old 6th March 2018, 12:16 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Popsicle View Post
She's young and my suggestion is to continue to keep going around her, despite the situation. She needs to get more and more used to you as a perm and safe fixture. I also recommend playing games with her. Like board games or other games where you can be more like a fun playmate. Bring some new games that she doesn't already have. Have you ever tried to take her out somewhere fun? Kids love that. It's important that these things are your idea and not hers or her parents idea. Also has she ever seen you around other kids or groups of kids? If she sees that other kids like you, she will warm up.

Oh and about the tantrums....

Let the parents see how you handle that. Let them see that you confidently handle it and then they will be more comfortable leaving little miss tantrum alone with you.
Hey Pop. Thanks for the ideas. She's too young for board games but I join her when she's playing with her toys. She doesn't involve me though even when I'm talking to her. Taking her out alone is out of the question because she doesn't allow me to carry her on most days and I don't think my SIL will be cool with it either.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brieanna View Post
Of course it is completely possible that her parents are enabling the child to be overly dependent on them for rescuing her from uncomfortable situations that she would do better to learn to cope with by experiencing more discomfort. It is possible the child needs to be left more to learn self soothing, distress tolerance or how to interact with other adults.

Also, just because a child may have some issue such as autism or other issue does not mean the parents are not enabling that child.

I simply do not know the “why” of what is going on for this child, nor would I assume to know.... there are too many possibilities. I am only offering one such, to add perspective, fwiw.

Seems in any event... the advice here still is great on ways to connect so....idk that it matters unless you are looking to try to influence her parents.
I'm not comfortable sharing my opinions with them. I guess I'll just have to try some of the suggestions and hope for the best!
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Old 6th March 2018, 12:26 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by FilterCoffee View Post
Hey Pop. Thanks for the ideas. She's too young for board games but I join her when she's playing with her toys. She doesn't involve me though even when I'm talking to her. Taking her out alone is out of the question because she doesn't allow me to carry her on most days and I don't think my SIL will be cool with it either.
There are board games for 3 year olds. You can look into them. I was just trying to say that I think it would be good if whatever fun thing you're doing was your idea, not hers or moms.

I have a friend who was like that with her daughter. I thought I would never get close to her daughter, who I wanted to be like my own child, but mom would not let anyone near her (nevermind the fact that I let her in with my children ). Now her daughter is about 9 yo and she seems normal, like she wants to branch out and asks to, but mom won't let her. Moms a total paranoid control freak and says that she's afraid that something bad will happen to her precious girl. I can't really argue with her because it was her first child and there are scary things and people out there.

I still encourage you to hang around as much as possible.

who in the world is little one talking to when she's playing with toys if it's not you?
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