Guest Blogger: Alan Weidner There’s a lot of truth to the old saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Unfortunately, in today’s world, families have become more scattered and independent, making it more difficult for children to establish relationships with extended family members. Having extended family members in your life and the lives of your children can help you build a strong, healthy family. Although children usually bond with their parents and siblings first, extended family members can also provide the emotional and physical support they need. In fact, according to Kidslife.com, the bonding of extended families dates back to prehistoric times. Take a closer look at the benefits of involving extended family members in your child’s life and tips for establishing those relationships. Benefits of Involving Extended Family in Child Rearing Extended family members offer benefits to children and parents as well. The following are just a few of the benefits that families can enjoy when in making extended family members an important part of family life: Benefit #1 – Support and Encouragement for Parents. Parenting is tough, but having the involvement of extended family members can offer the benefit of support and encouragement for parents. Raising children comes with both good times and bad times, and extended family members can offer the support needed when times get tough. Adult extended family members may even be able to provide some assistance with childcare, providing parents with a much needed break from time to time. Benefit #2 – Improves Self Esteem and Self Worth in Children. When extended family members are involved in child rearing, it also provides the benefit of improving self esteem and self worth in children. The relationships children build with extended family members can provided them with a better sense of identity and support, improving the way they feel about themselves. Benefit #3 – Links to Other Interests and Ideas. The involvement of extended family members in a child’s life can also offer links to other interest and ideas. Aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents may have ideas, interests or skills that are different from those of their parents. According to the article “Grandparents and the Extended Family” at UnderstandingChildhood.net, the exposure to different interests and ideas can teach children important lessons that parents may not be able to teach their children. Learning new ideas and experiencing new interests can be especially beneficial to teens and they begin to test their wings in life. Establishing Relationships with Extended Family in a Busy, Mobile World The world that children live in today is busy and mobile. Families are scattered all over the world, which can make it more difficult for kids to establish relationships with extended family members. Even in this busy, mobile world, measures can be taken to ensure that extended family members are included in the child’s life. Here are a few helpful tips for establishing relationships with extended family, even when distance may be a factor. Set Up Monthly Telephone Calls or Skype Chats – One way to help kids establish relationships with extended family members that may be far away is to set up monthly telephone calls or Skype chats. Technology makes it easier than ever to connect across the miles. Talking from time to time can help foster the relationships between the nuclear family and extended family members. Allow Children to Email Family Members – Email is a quick and easy method kids can use to keep in contact with extended family members. While they may only see these family members occasionally, they can have contact on a regular basis by email. Encourage Kids to Write Letters – Old-fashioned letters are another way to establish relationships with extended family members. Kids will enjoy receiving mail and aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents are sure to enjoy hearing from your children. Keep Family Photo Albums – Last, keeping family photo albums with photos of extended family members can help children become more familiar with these long distance members of the family. Spend time looking through photos with your children, telling them stories about family members that will help provide a great foundation for building relationships. Award-winning Amber Alert GPS, Inc. is the leader in child gps tracker technology and family safety. Our mission is to make the world a safer place for kids, providing family freedom without compromise. Combining the latest GPS technology and a feature-rich, easy-to-use platform for apps, Amber Alert GPS gives busy parents assurance of their child’s safety without sacrificing independence, whether at home or on-the-go.
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.