The Impotance of Extended Family

New research in England, demonstrates the importance of children having a connection with grandparents. Besides grandparents the study indicates that extended family members such as uncles and aunts are important too. This is the most recent study to show extended family and family traditions are important.

Why are they important? Well, in our fast pace world and chaotic lives we sometimes forget the importance of passing on traditions from generation to generation. Another problem that impacts this is our society has become very mobile. We no longer live close to our relatives. It’s not uncommon for grandchildren to live in California and grandparents to live back east. And with jobs becoming more difficult to find and the cost of living increasing families are moving where ever they can find a job or to a place where the cost of living is affordable.

The problem is the close family provided support and help for the family. Children could establish close relationships with grandparents and aunts and uncles. These adults could serve as additional role models and inform parents if something seemed off with the child.

The other thing that the close connection to generations was a sense of security. If there was a problem a child knew they could turn to their parents, aunts or uncles or cousins. It also helped a child’s self-esteem. You had the adults who could reinforce that you were worthy and you had cousins who would defend you at school or in the neighborhood because you were worth it. Also your older cousins could help you learn what to expect as you went from grade to grade. There was a sense of support and security that most children don’t have today.

The advancement in computers and communication may provide a way to try to recreate this sense of family. With such things as Skype where you can talk and see the other person, it’s almost like being with the person. Children can Skype with grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins too. We just have to make time for it. For those families that live close to each other, you need to remember the value of family and make time for family. At times it may be difficult, but you will find that the time and effort are worth it. I have found that children with close family ties and connections to their cultures do better. They have a sense of pride and a sense of where the came from that other children don’t.

I have attached a link to an article with a link to an article about sharing traditions with family. Check out this article from First 5 LA: http://www.first5la.org/index.php?r=site/article&id=3615&utm_content=buffere936a&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer.

I think you will find it interesting.

Dr Michael Rubino has been working with children/teens and their families for over 18 years and is well respected. For more information at Dr Rubino’s work or his private practice visit his website at http://www.rcs-ca.com.

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