Role of Extended Family in a child’s life!
Last Wednesday, I slept before 9 PM and woke up not to the sound of an alarm, but exactly when I felt my sleep was completed. That is luxury, especially to a parent of a Toddler. I indulged in this unusual bit of luxury because my parents were visiting!
My family is small – with just my little one, my husband and myself. A lot of days I am happy that I don’t have to deal with the politics of living in a big family. But some days I’m secretly envious of my college friend, who lives with her in- laws. I say secretly because it is blasphemous to say that one can be jealous of a friend living with her in – laws! All the girl- friends I have will disown me!
Before you dismiss me as some sort of a psycho who should live in Karan Johar movies, here are my reasons.
Reason 1 – My college friend kept her full – time job even after a baby and has a flourishing career. Because, her in-laws take care of the little one while she is at her job.
Reason 2 – My college friend can take time off for coffee with me without having to haggle or trade child care responsibilities with her husband.
Reason 3- Her weekends are different from her weekdays! Just imagine that, What a luxury!
Reason 4 – She need not be switched on 24 X 7, more adults taking care of child means the responsibility gets diluted
Grandparents are every bit indulgent and don’t necessarily always have the same take on parenting as you do. Some can even outright do exactly the opposite as you want them to. And if the Grandparents in question are your parent in- laws, then it can be frustrating because many a times you just cannot confront them directly.
But, consider this – children who grow up with more people in the house are more prepared for tackling the world outside. They intuitively know who to turn to for what. I have seen this happen with my toddler when I go on extended holidays. She throws her weight around with her grandparents but knows not to that with me ! And She is only 3!
Research has shown that children who are more exposed to extended families pick up language and negotiation skills faster. Children get a feeling that there are people beyond immediate family that love and care about them. Besides, providing a sense of security, encouragement and stability – The extended family provides “roots” to the children and helps them build a sense of community.
An extra cookie or a “pink” doll (even though they don’t fit into your ideal of how your girl should grow) are nothing compared to the advantages that an extended family can provide in the long run. So go on, this winter break, pack your bags- go home, get your children more attached to your families and of-course switch of the alarm and wake up only when you want
“Only an aunt can give hugs like a mother, keep secrets like a sister and share love like a friend” – Anonymous
About the Author:
Roomana Basha – Full – Time Mother | Part – Time Founder & CEO, ekdali.com