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Article written by Maya Vukovska

Uncles are not only the fun figures in the family, they are also the ones you go to when you are short on money, or have troubles in the love/sex department. Uncles are high-spirited and always keep a hilarious joke up their sleeve. But uncles can be role models for life, too. Yes, being an adorable guncle is an amazing experience and can bring great rewards for everyone in the close family circle.

Treat them as your own kids… and more

Your sibling or your BF has just had a baby. You may not know it yet, but becoming the baby’s guncle comes with a lot of responsibilities. And of course there’s a lot of fun involved, too. You start playing with the little tiny feet and hands, and the connection between you two happens right off the bat. Although it’s not your kid, you know in your heart your life has changed forever. With time, you start noticing some interesting changes taking place. For starters, you’ve become more protective and responsible. And more intuitive, too! You can always tell with just a single glance when your niece or nephew is irritated, happy, hungry, or… constipated.

Invest more time in your family

You may find this task tedious and boring, because, let’s be honest, family gatherings are far from being as fun as a circuit party in Miami. Besides, you’ve always been convinced that spending ‘quality time’ with your family is overestimated, so why bother anyway! Let us tell you why. You might be bored with your mom talking nonstop about her Hybrid Tea roses and her aching knees, but getting to know your nieces and nephews might feel as a totally new experience. If you’re persistent, you’ll be soon beaming with joy. Developing bonds with the kids will help you remember how important family can be.

Don’t play the bad cop

For that, they have their parents. Your job is to make the kids take this shitty life less seriously.

Be an opener

An opener of bottles and cans, but also of minds. Even if you had a complicated relationship with your parents, or other people from your past because of religious, moral or political differences, remember that not every member of this family (especially the new ones!) fall in the ‘Enemy of the gay people’ category. The minds of your young nieces and nephews are still blank slates, a la tabula rasa. Their thoughts and beliefs are still not stained by societal prejudices. These young people are in the process of discovering the world with all its wonders and its wrongs, and your unique perspective may prove extremely useful and revelatory in the long run.

Do NOT become an ATM

These little monsters have found your soft spot, but you have to preserve your integrity and show them that, although you adore them, they cannot fuck with you. Being the greatest guncle in the world doesn’t involve being terrorized by your sister’s punk kids. We know they are disarmingly cute, but you need to stop giving them pocket money whenever they ask for it. A good guncle teaches his nieces and nephews how to be creative and come up with their own ways of making money.

The figure of a guncle can be life-changing for some young adults

You’ve been suspecting this for some time now. After all, the kid is into needlework and acting, he’s not interested in sports, and knows all Troye Sivan’s songs by heart! His parents are not comfortable discussing him being ‘you-know-what’, and that’s where you come in. But gently, with love and consideration. Allow the young man confide in you. The nephew’s trust will make you understand what an important figure you actually are in his life.

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