This week, we celebrate Aunt and Uncle Day and I felt it important to let the world know, simply because I help make up the 25 per cent of Australian women without kids – or as the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) insensitively categorizes me, ‘over 45 and childless’ – I don’t feel childless.
In fact, I’m more likely to be described as a young woman who lives in her Jimmy Choos who has so many children in her life she doesn’t know what to do!
I have two incredible nieces, seven amazing nephews, ten wonderful Godchildren and I’m referred to as ‘Aunty Chevy’ by countless others.
So who is the statisticians calling childless?
We Aunties are quite the force to be reckoned with. We should be revered, not jeered.
A recent survey showed the Aunt market is fast becoming a marketer’s dream; we’re spending billions globally on our nieces and nephews, buying up all the things parents refuse to.
Our gift-giving can be misconstrued as spoiling kids but most of the time we’re simply trying to build trusted and special relationships with our nieces and nephews.
I recently did a deal with a nephew to get him reading more. Did you know that, in the Aunt/nephew economy, reading 12 books is equivalent to a Star Wars Battlefront Xbox game?
I can also share some tricks and tips for communicating with kids, learnt through 25 years in the PR game:
- Listen. In a world where kids are talked at 24/7, it’s important they have someone to unplug and download to.
- Don’t lecture. No one likes to hear a message over and over, be it customers, media or kids. Subtle suggestion is more effective.
- Be persistent. If at first you don’t succeed, suck it up and keep going until you do.
- Don’t put anything stupid on social media. The digital age has a long memory and kids (and corporates) have a lot to learn when it comes to social reach.
- Tell a good yarn. Unlike a bedtime story, you don’t want to put the audience to sleep. Think of something compelling and interesting to say.
I’m proud to celebrate being an Aunty who loves, and is much loved by, so many magnificent children.
This week is the perfect time to recall the words of the Grand Poobah of all aunts, the brilliant Auntie Mame:
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