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My wife and I are in our thirties. She is the "godmother" of a nice 8-year-old girl (her sister's single child). As her husband, she has become increasingly interested in me lately (I'd say since about a year of two maybe), to the point that she spends a lot of time with me (hugging, playing, showing me stuff on her phone, sharing "secrets" etc.) whenever we're all gathered at her grand parents' place (my wife's parents).

It is very nice and I surely like it but I find it quite surprising because she didn't use to like me before (she was rather shy actually and avoided me) and also because I am not sharing the same native tongue with her (them, i. e. my wife, my wife's family and obviously my little niece are from another country than I am). By the way, I know well enough "their" language so that she can understand me and so that I can understand her without any problem though.

Anyway, I am wondering if this is a phase and if this "attraction" towards me will probably change (for example, as she grows older, she may then get closer to her aunt to talk about more "girly" stuff)? I have the "feeling" that it could be something that as a little girl she might be "attracted" and interested in males (maybe something with hormones or so, even if for her age it might be early). Maybe me being a "foreigner" makes it more "exotic", maybe she finds it easier to get my attention (I am almost ok to play along with her, etc.). Just to be clear, I don't mean anything sexual by "attracted" or "attraction", but simply "great interest".

I am also interested because it creates some kind of "jealousy" from other family members, like my wife, or even her own father, who envy my position of being kind of "the favorite". I am honestly not trying to get all her attention, I am honestly not trying to be the most important person for her or something like that, but I just enjoy spending time with her and always try to take time to play with her, to interact with her and so on.

I'd like to hear about your opinions on that, advices, suggestions, experiences, anything that you think could benefit her, me and the relationships among the family (especially regarding jealousy or people feeling left behind).

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You mention that you are always available and willing to hang out with her and play with her when she's around; are the other adults putting forth the same effort? Kids are small humans, after all, and one thing most humans have in common is that we like to be with the people who like to be with us.

For the jealous adults, try to pull them into the next play time. "Let's let Grandpa play the game with us! Oooh, I wonder what Aunt A thinks about [topic of discussion]?" And if they don't share her interests, or cannot join in some activities, encourage them to find activities the three of you can join in; you can then do the slow fade if the person wants more one-on-one time with the child.

Lately my son, who is 4, has decided his uncle is the most important person on the planet. It all started when my brother-in-law played with him one afternoon. That's all it took: now Uncle S is the person he wants to see, wants to play with, wants to hang out with. If there ever came a time when my brother-in-law didn't want to play with my son, he'd likely fall out of favor. But so long as he's willing to be dragged out into the yard to play whatever the game du jour is, he's the bee's knees for my son.

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  • Thank you for the sharing your advice, experiences and suggestions! – Iam Zesh Apr 11 '15 at 7:10

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