Would anyone else find this difficult ?

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firemonkey
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28 Jan 2018, 2:32 pm

My step niece has just got an email address and my father has given it to me. He says he's sure she'd like to hear from me. This is a 10-11 year old step niece I have never met , and know next to nothing about other than she seems to be quite precocious .
I'd find even emailing a child I'd met, and knew quite well, difficult in terms of knowing what to say.

I sense that I'm expected to email her, and feel quite thrown by this. If I don't email I guess I'll be branded the unfriendly step uncle.


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firemonkey
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28 Jan 2018, 2:48 pm

People telling me to send her funny memes etc .The thing is I'm not great on memes ,and how do you gauge what's suitable for a 10-11 year old albeit a precocious one ?


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fluffysaurus
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28 Jan 2018, 3:09 pm

Are memes, memos?

I would keep it quite a formal and simple e-mail, no one can critisise you for that, your old (to her) and don't have kids (I'm assuming) so stick to who you are, where you live, what your local town is like. Basically, be boring. I have 5 nephews that I have had a lot of contact with over the years, the youngest is now 12, and yet I would also find this difficult with any other child, so good luck



fluffysaurus
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28 Jan 2018, 3:14 pm

And ask her about herself, normal people (and some of us) like talking about themselves. What's her school like? what does she want to be when she grows up?

Three shortish sentences about youself, then three short questions about her, then if she reply's, repeat.

I've just reread your post and it sounds like she just wants to practice getting and sending her own emails, so maybe send her a picture of a cat or something like that.



firemonkey
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28 Jan 2018, 3:44 pm

I'd feel more comfortable if we had a shared interest we could talk about.


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SplendidSnail
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28 Jan 2018, 4:23 pm

My nephew and niece (both much younger than 11) absolutely adore me, but the idea of trying to communicate with them by email when they're a bit older is kind of quite scary.

In general, I get along pretty well in person with kids, but I think that's mainly because I don't have to do much conversation with them - kids just want to play games.


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fluffysaurus
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28 Jan 2018, 5:00 pm

firemonkey wrote:
I'd feel more comfortable if we had a shared interest we could talk about.

Could you tell them about your sibling/their step-parent when they were young



firemonkey
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28 Jan 2018, 5:09 pm

I emailed. It was very rudimentary. Just asking a few questions about things I know she has done.


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fluffysaurus
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28 Jan 2018, 5:12 pm

firemonkey wrote:
I emailed. It was very rudimentary. Just asking a few questions about things I know she has done.

Well done, it must have been tempting to just keep putting it off until it's too late. Celebrate with a cup of tea, and a sigh of relief, it's done, you've done your bit, in fact have a biscuit too.



naturalplastic
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28 Jan 2018, 5:30 pm

I would be thrown too. Even most NTs would be thrown if someone were told that an even an adult, whom they had never met, was "eager to get an email from you". Much more so a child.

But you made a good start.



wombashkaya.fukovchi
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28 Jan 2018, 7:29 pm

I'd find it difficult. Although maybe it'd be easier than, for example, trying to write an email to someone who I've not replied to for months because I couldn't think of anything to say-that involves a.) thinking of something to say, and b.) thinking of a justification for why I haven't written back for 6 months!
You said you'd find it easier if you could talk about common interests, so I suggest that a good place to start would be asking her what her interests are. Ask her what her favourite subjects at school are, favourite books, whether she has any pets, or hobbies, or favourite animals. Tell her some of your interests too.