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How do I get my niece to like me?


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Old 1st March 2018, 12:38 PM   #1
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How do I get my niece to like me?

Ever since she was born, which was nearly 3 years ago, she’s either been scared or indifferent towards me. I see her about 2 times a week and whenever I try to talk to her, she becomes quiet and doesn’t even look at me At first, she didn’t even allow me to carry her but I’ve managed to get there somehow. I’ll be leaving my country this year and I won’t be face to face with her for a while so I want to improve our relationship while I’m still around. Any suggestions?
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Old 1st March 2018, 7:17 PM   #2
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Can I ask, what do you do with her that is fun?

It's hard, because some little people can be more reserved and more attached to mom and dad. They just have to learn... auntie's are fun too!

As the proud auntie of two nieces and a nephew, we do lots of fun things together. We play bubbles, run in the sprinkler, I push them on the swings, take them to the park, bake with them, etc... I will often take fun things to do with them - we dye easter eggs, we make gingerbread houses, I have brought them cardboard houses in which they can color and play. I take them new books every time I go to "babysit" so that we can read a new book together. We also go out to do things together - they have loved riding in my car because they know it takes them to fun places - swimming pools, skating, parks, movies, concerts, etc... and of course, your little one is still little, but when she gets older, it's a good plan to go to their events - concerts, soccer games, etc...

When you move away, I would suggest that you become pen pals. Little ones LOVE to get mail - send her cute cards, stickers, coloring books, etc... and she will love you. With any luck, she will write you back and you will have a collection of sweet cards from your niece.

Best wishes.
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Old 2nd March 2018, 8:26 AM   #3
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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!
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Old 2nd March 2018, 8:43 AM   #4
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Sorry you feel you niece doesn't like your company FilterCoffee, but maybe it's not you?

How does she behave with other adults?
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Old 2nd March 2018, 8:53 AM   #5
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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!
Ah, that would make me so sad... I would take her something special - bubbles, a colouring book to color together, some stickers... I'm not above bribery!

Start slow and know, it will probably get better as she gets older. Good luck.
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Old 2nd March 2018, 9:08 AM   #6
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Sorry you feel you niece doesn't like your company FilterCoffee, but maybe it's not you?

How does she behave with other adults?
She’s very reserved around everyone except her mom, dad and her mom’s parents. They all live together. I don’t like saying this but I don’t like how much my brother and SIL coddle her! Every time my niece wants mom, she’s there. I get that the mom needs to be there for her child but when the child is playing with the immediate family, shouldn’t she step back a bit and let the child socialise? Even my parents are a little upset. It would be silly to expect the baby to change so that’s why I wanted to know if I could do something to improve our relationship.
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Old 2nd March 2018, 9:10 AM   #7
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Ah, that would make me so sad... I would take her something special - bubbles, a colouring book to color together, some stickers... I'm not above bribery!

Start slow and know, it will probably get better as she gets older. Good luck.
I bribe her all the time! She usually just takes what I get her and continues to ignore me
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Old 2nd March 2018, 9:15 AM   #8
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I had this problem with a new nephew of mine. The first time I met him I bought him a toy and book. He accepted them but acted like he hated me. I was distraught. Finally I decided to stop trying so hard for his attention and started to completely ignore him and the next thing I knew he was all over me. So maybe ignore her and she will come around.
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Old 2nd March 2018, 9:17 AM   #9
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She’s very reserved around everyone except her mom, dad and her mom’s parents. They all live together. I don’t like saying this but I don’t like how much my brother and SIL coddle her! Every time my niece wants mom, she’s there. I get that the mom needs to be there for her child but when the child is playing with the immediate family, shouldn’t she step back a bit and let the child socialise? Even my parents are a little upset. It would be silly to expect the baby to change so that’s why I wanted to know if I could do something to improve our relationship.
You're in a tricky position for sure - this really doesn't mean your little niece doesn't love you, though. Please don't take it personally, because she's only little and is mimicking or reacting to her immediate environment.

She'll remember all the times you've spent with her, so don't worry about that. I don't know what your relationship is with your brother, but maybe you could have a quiet word about how you feel? My sisters never shy away from giving me their thoughts on my kids and I really don't mind - if I don't know what they're thinking, I can't fix it (or explain it!).
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Old 2nd March 2018, 9:20 AM   #10
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I had this problem with a new nephew of mine. The first time I met him I bought him a toy and book. He accepted them but acted like he hated me. I was distraught. Finally I decided to stop trying so hard for his attention and started to completely ignore him and the next thing I knew he was all over me. So maybe ignore her and she will come around.
Honestly, I feel the same way but I feel bad about it!
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Old 2nd March 2018, 9:25 AM   #11
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You're in a tricky position for sure - this really doesn't mean your little niece doesn't love you, though. Please don't take it personally, because she's only little and is mimicking or reacting to her immediate environment.

She'll remember all the times you've spent with her, so don't worry about that. I don't know what your relationship is with your brother, but maybe you could have a quiet word about how you feel? My sisters never shy away from giving me their thoughts on my kids and I really don't mind - if I don't know what they're thinking, I can't fix it (or explain it!).
Yeah, I’m not taking it personally but it doesn’t feel good to be snubbed time after time. My brother and I get along but we’re not close. I wouldn’t feel comfortable telling them what I think but my parents have voiced their concerns and nothing has changed.
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Old 2nd March 2018, 9:31 AM   #12
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Yeah, I’m not taking it personally but it doesn’t feel good to be snubbed time after time. My brother and I get along but we’re not close. I wouldn’t feel comfortable telling them what I think but my parents have voiced their concerns and nothing has changed.
If the parents aren't receptive, it looks like there isn't much you can do, unfortunately. She's not snubbing you on purpose or trying to be mean - she's only 3 - but it has got to be unpleasant for you. Sorry, I wish I had a netter solution for you
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Old 2nd March 2018, 9:41 AM   #13
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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.

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Old 2nd March 2018, 9:56 AM   #14
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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.
Oh, I like that idea. My grandparents used to that... We would run to their car!

My dad does that now for my neice and nephew... He always gets a kick out of my nephew who walks right up to him and says "Hey Grandpa, you got jellybeans?"

Definitely don't pressure her to "earn" her surprise... Kids understand this and they usually shy away... My other set of grandparents used to do this, very unsuccessfully.
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Old 2nd March 2018, 9:58 AM   #15
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Oh, I like that idea. My grandparents used to that... We would run to their car!

My dad does that now for my neice and nephew... He always gets a kick out of my nephew who walks right up to him and says "Hey Grandpa, you got jellybeans?"

Definitely don't pressure her to "earn" her surprise... Kids understand this and they usually shy away... My other set of grandparents used to do this, very unsuccessfully.
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.

Last edited by CautiouslyOptimistic; 2nd March 2018 at 10:12 AM.. Reason: Oops, 76, not 75 ;).
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