For those who want to take the honorary title of tito or tita seriously, here’s what you need to know
But there’s more to being a good tito and tita. Apart from being our kids’ go-to, they can be the people we can count on for help. At times, they become excellent parent ambassadors, when children need a more neutral figure to express themselves to. And more often than not, a cool source of advice as they learn how to be good adults in the future.
Here are ways how you can be that cool tito or tita:
1. Maintain a Consistent Presence in their Lives
One of the quintessential steps in becoming a favored presence in these children’s lives is by making yourselves visible, available, and reliable. You’ve already earned their parents’ trust. The next step is to create a bridge of familiarity. Make sure to engage them in conversation when you’re spending time with their family. Ask questions and get to know them better. This way, you’ll find yourself a free pass to understanding their own world.
2. Remember Milestones and Choose Presents Wisely
A good tito or tita knows the children well. Send a card or a gift on their birthdays. Remember key milestones of their growth. When your friends/their parents invite you to hang out with them, be there ready to treat them in your own way. Make sure to tell their folks what you plan to give them for presents. Be thoughtful and make it useful. Perhaps, something related to their hobby or current interests?
3. Immerse Yourself in Their Own World
As adults, sometimes we force children to understanding our points of view instead of meeting halfway. As a cool tito or tita, doing your part in the communication process also means engaging them in their own realm, even if it means talking for 2 hours about the latest toy craze or playing video games with them. When it comes to older children, you’ll probably end up sharing high school experiences (only the good memories, of course). Patience, is key.
4. Who’s Their Parents Wingman? You
Remember to always say nice words about their parents. You will soon encounter times when children will ask about their parents, and it is your job to paint a really good picture of them. You are in a way, a testament of their parents’ admirable traits—things that often go unnoticed when kids have a different perspective. Be the tito or tita who fixes the viewpoint and bridge their connections through you. Remember never to outshine their parents. Be cool, but not to the point of overshadowing the people who raise them 24/7.
5. Be a Fine Example of an Adult
The most important of all steps is their perception of you. You can’t be the cool adult who makes the most questionable choices—your friends, who are also their parents, will definitely distance themselves from you. As an appointed tito or tita, you have to show them the best qualities of what an adult should be and be the nice person who explains why these are laudable. Doing so guides them to the right path and helps validate their parents lessons as well.
They say it takes a village to raise a kid. Doing your part to help parents in rearing their children can go a long way. Save your funny and embarrassing stories of their moms and dads, list down birthdays, and remember that being a cool tito or tita is a responsibility as well.