i'm probably gonna look after my cousin for a great part of the next year, and to be honest his mom kinda sucks, so i want to do good and be a good influence for him.
can anybody give me some tips on how to deal with kids and take care of them? i've never done this before so i am a bit lost

thanks you all for the tips! he's four, for those asking

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@lunely engage with them fully. Treat them with respect. Don't baby talk them. Do activities like cooking with them, pretty much whatever age. Talk to them about stuff they enjoy. Incapable kids acting like silly babies is a result of poor upbringing, not some inherent fault or inability in the child themselves.

@lunely patience! lots of patience and respect. provide structure, but respect consent. take an interest in the things they're interested in. a lot of (most?) kids don't get nearly enough of adults taking them or their ideas/thoughts/interests/feelings/questions/decisions/consent seriously.

if you can recognize that there's an actual real live human in there, and not see them as a burden, extension of yourself, or emotional support animal, you're already ahead of the curve imo.

honestly seriously recommend "How To Talk So Kids Will Listen, And How to Listen So Kids Will Talk" -- I picked it up after it was recommended to me as the best book on communicating with anyone, child or adult. It has a lot in it about helping kids develop emotional intelligence, a sense of self, autonomy, etc.

In the most general sense:
✅ explain decisions that impact them
✅ make time to do stuff that's not your fave, and try to get why they enjoy it—heck, you can flat-out ask
✅ your respect goes up when you admit a wrong, not down
✅ some days will suck, and acknowledging that you still care on those days counts
✅ listen

I think that's solid for all ages? With an age range, specifics would be easier

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