My neohew’s 11. How long do I have for him to keep liking me?

My older nephew just started middle school. I got him into video games; he always used to watch me when he was little. He thought of me before Santa as the Christmas visitor, as I’ve posted here before. Everyone seems to think he’s a lot like me. He’s actually recently said he wanted to live with me and work in my industry when he’s older. Aww.

So I took advantage of a call from my mom recently, to hear about his new school, and I asked him if there was anything he wanted to ask me, and he actually did: about my job (thought it has an interest to him to begin with). He was using my mom’s phone, and someone called while we were talking, so I had him give it back so she could call the person back, if he had nothing else (also because I didn’t want the conversation to die unnaturally for lack of things to think of saying, although I probably could’ve thought of more). I ended up feeling a little bad for doing so, because I always hear how puberty turns kids into hormone drenched monsters who don’t care about adults, and I suppose I can deal with it, but it still makes me sad. Man, I had no idea why adults were so mushy around kids until I had some in my life. I completely understand now.

So in your experience, how inevitable is that process? Can I do anything about it? We live hundreds of miles apart, so I can’t see him and his little brother with regularity. I’ve got things I’ve been doing and trying, but I’d like to hear from the older folks too. :smiley:

Thanks in advance, and I’ll follow up if I think of anything else.

It changes alright. The best advice I can offer is try to remember they are growing into a young adult. When you speak to them, try to speak to them is more “grown up” terms. Because if they feel like they are being patronized they’ll (naturally) push away.

You’re a Long Distance Uncle? You’ll be just fine.

Nephew might end up being an ass and hating everyone else around him (teenagers are weird critters), but chances are he will continue to idolize YOU because your interactions are relatively infrequent.

IOW, he will like you forever. Don’t stress.


Agreed. Hundreds of miles apart is key. He’ll never stop liking you because you are too far away to be annoying.

If he does begin to pull away, don’t worry. In my experience they always come back. It will be different. You’ll have an adult relationship with him. Good luck.

Obviously depends on the kid, but even really rebellious kids look to adults who are supportive of them personally.

Even as 2 of my 3 teenagers ending up being recalcitrant little barbarians for a while, they all still love their “uncle” (my best friend) who lives down in NYC. Enjoy your position of privilege. :slight_smile:

Find an online game you can all play together. Make one time a week be Game Night and always be there to play.

I would recommend WoW, just because it’s the most user friendly choice. He might prefer Minecraft or even Fortnite. But Wow has the proven longevity and it’s reasonably family friendly.

My kid stayed close to his aunt (my sister) all through middle and high school. Even taking his very first solo airplane trip to Arizona to spend a week with her. He’s 20 now and they are still close.

Just keep in touch and keep caring about him. He’ll keep liking you.