Aunts are 'as important as mums' when it comes to raising girls says parenting expert
I grew up with some amazing aunts in my life.
Both actual aunts, and also women who were friends of my parents, or mothers of my own friends. All kind, caring, wise, fun and seriously cool ladies.
My own two children are in the exact same and very lucky position.
My own sister is the most involved and caring auntie, and as luck would have it, they have aunties on their father's side of the family as well. On top of that, some of my own best girlfriends have been 'aunties' to my children since the day they were born. We are lucky – and I am grateful every day.
Why? Because as it turns out, much as parents, and mums, in particular, are important role models for their children, it turns out aunts can be just as important, especially when it comes to raising girls. In fact, according to parenting experts Steve Biddulph, aunts can offer a unique kind of relationship for girls as they grow, that moms cannot replicate.
Speaking on ABC's Parental As Everything podcast, Biddulph explains how essential it is that girls have positive adults to look up to other than their own parents.
Why? Because much as we are our little girls' be all and end all when they are young, there will most likely come a time when this special mother-daughter bond gets put through the test – especially as girls start growing up and entering young adulthood.
However, reminds Biddulph, this painful change in the mother-daughter relationship is a positive step in growing up, and no matter how hard it is for the mum, it is important to consider that there will be a time when we cannot be there for our daughters in all ways. And this time will be at a point where she desperately needs adult guidance.
To benefit the most from this child-aunt bond, the parenting expert suggests that parents make it a priority to make sure their daughters get to bond with their aunties from an early age – and that by the time the teenage years hit, this bond is a strong one, filled with trust and mutual love.
The good news? An aunt doesn't have to be someone who is biologically related to your child. This bond with another female role model can also very well be between your daughter and your bestie – and really, it makes sense. Can you ever have too many amazing women in your life? We think not.