Exploring the Benefits of Extended Family Relationships

Exploring the Benefits of Extended Family Relationships


Extended family comprises aunts, uncles and cousins. Cultivating positive and strong relationships with your extended family can have a positive impact on your mental health.

It should come as no surprise that having a strong female role model is crucial for young girls. This is especially true in today's society, which is characterized by social media, bullying, and evolving "norms" for women. 

It is amazing how much of an impact a caring, fun, and supporting woman can have on a young girl. An aunt is the ideal combination of a mother and a friend since she is a part of a girl's family but also gives her the freedom to grow and learn in a secure environment.

This is the reason aunts are so important in the lives of young girls, even as they grow older. And just in case you were curious. Also not required to be blood relatives are aunts. An influential aunt for young girls can be any kind adult woman.

When a young girl's parents are absent physically or emotionally, she can look to her aunt as a reliable female guide.

Aunts give young girls a sympathetic ear. Knowing that they are not alone aids them in sorting through difficulties. The relationship between an aunt and a nibling is unique because, although being an older mother figure, an aunt is not the mother. A mother cannot replace the special bond that exists between an aunt and a nibling. 

A girl can feel more liberated and open to expressing herself in ways she might not feel comfortable doing at home when she is spending time with her aunt. She also notes that by simply observing her aunt's positive influence, worldview, and way of life, the child can learn more about themself as well as the world around them.

In a way, aunts benefit from the best of both worlds. They get to swoop in for some amusement, encouragement, and emotional development before bidding farewell till the next time. Even though they aren't in charge of daily chores, they can have a significant impact on a child’s wellness well into adulthood.

While mother-daughter relationships frequently experience ups and downs throughout time, aunt-nibling relationships are frequently consistent. A distant relative, an aunt is nonetheless a part of the family. She doesn't have to worry about finishing the dinner plate's worth of broccoli, doing the homework, or cleaning the bedroom. Aunts offer security and a break from the everyday. 

The aunt-nibling relationship is referred to in research as "quasi-parenthood," in that an aunt isn't the mother but does contribute to raising and influencing the lives of her nibling. Aunts provide as a support system, a soother, a protector, and a comforter. Although they aren't constantly present, they are never far away when you need them. But when there is a need of creating harmony in this relationship seek help from a Counseling psychologist or the Psychologist in delhi.

Why Aunts Are Important According to Science 

Researchers found that aunts aspired to have made a lasting and beneficial impact on the lives of their niblings when they spoke with 30 childless women over the age of 60. Many of them compared their bonds with their niblings to that between parents and children.

Why do niblings value their aunts so highly? Children can feel comfortable with their aunts to:

  • Enjoy free-form play.

  • Improve one's feeling of self through talking about relationships and school issues

  • Ask for guidance without fear of rejection

  • Recognize their anxiety

  • Talk about your objectives.

  • Navigate parental difficulties

Play is one method an aunt encourages her nibling to learn new things. Researchers have discovered that attentive, caring caretakers can forecast optimal intellectual and emotional development.

Because of their capacity to provide a nurturing environment, aunts are also significant. Nurturing is a crucial component of bonding and a healthy attachment.

According to studies reported in The American Psychologist, caring surroundings can:

  • Teach, encourage, and reinforce prosocial behaviour, as well as the abilities needed to become responsible individuals in society.

  • Keep an eye on and cut down on instances of problematic behaviour

  • Encourage psychological adaptability and attentiveness

  • Minimise hazardous biological and psychological occurrences

Children who develop supportive ties with their aunts early on are better problem solvers, more compassionate, and have higher self-esteem. With this sense of support, a baby, a kid, or an adolescent can thrive. 

Being a Great Aunt: A Guide

Start the aunt-nibling relationship young. The ideal method to develop a close and enduring bond with your nibling is when they are still a little child.

Make it about the activities and the time you spend together rather than purchasing baby clothes and toys for your new tiny nibling. There are various activities you may do with a nibling to establish a special bond, such as park walks, swinging, reading, and hide-and-seek.

Get Active

The unique quality of aunts is that, although not being required to, they actively choose to participate in the lives of their niblings and nephews.

Simple deeds like attending a soccer match, taking them out to lunch, and spending time with them on the weekends demonstrate your commitment and dependability. Aunts may not have a duty to the child, yet they nonetheless show up out of pure love.

To let your sister or friend know that you are a trustworthy source for the child, you should let them know what you want out of the aunt-nibling connection.

Time Your Playing

A child's emotional, cognitive, and social development depend on play. When an aunt comes to stay, they play and enjoy what something called QualAuntie Time.

What makes playing with your nibling so special? They enjoy doing this the most, and it's how they get knowledge of the outside world. Young children have the chance to learn new things through play.

This is how children gain a sense of control and independence: "When we are enjoying open-ended play with our tiny niblings, like holding tea parties, role-playing beloved TV or movie characters, playing dress up or building a castle out of blocks."

Be a Supportive Shoulder.

An aunt's nurturing and sustaining function is crucial. Make it known that you will always be a shoulder to cry on if you want to be a great aunt. You'll be there for your nibling in happy and sad moments, when they really need your support.

In the lives of their niblings, uncles too have a significant influence. Being a supporting and loving family member who acts as a lifelong role model is another quality of a good uncle, in addition to being a playful and entertaining character in the family. According to research, positive role models are most helpful to adolescents when they are of the same gender. An uncle may set a significant example for young males regarding what it means to be a moral, polite, and devoted man.

Great uncles are involved, present at events, supportive at difficult times, set a good example, and keep a connection throughout all stages of life. Even once children reach maturity, they continue to be a significant source of love. However, if there is a need to seek help from an Online counselor or search for the Best psychologist in delhi.

Additionally, you may schedule an appointment with the top professional psychologists and receive Mental health counseling at the Psychowellness Centre, which has many locations in Delhi NCR, NOIDA, Faridabad, Janakpuri, Dwarka, and Vasant Vihar.

Contribution: Dr (Prof) R K Suri, Clinical Psychologist, life coach & mentor TalktoAngel & Ms. Varshini Nayyar, Psychologist.