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  1. #1
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    Default How important is it for children to grow up around extended family

    Our primary school aged kids have been away from extended family since they were very young (As we live interstate). I often think they are missing out and feel we should move back where family are, mostly to give them extra support, experience and memories of their extended family.
    We are currently very happy where we are living except for not having family around and not having a big circle of very close family-like friendships.
    So my question is how important is it for children to have extended family around them growing up and how do you come to a decision that you can’t decide on despite doing pro’s and con’s list.
    Ultimately I want what is best for the kids, but is extended family more important in their lives as opposed to a city with lower crime rate, good schools and lower unemployment rates etc?
    Any thoughts advice would be appreciated, thanks

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    I grew up away from most of my extended family, but still close enough that we could visit. I was still really close to my cousins especially, even though they are a fair bit younger than me.
    But when I was 16 we moved even further away and I didn't see them for years at a time. I am definitely not as close with them now and it makes me really sad, especially for my nan who never gets to see her grandkids or great grandson.
    I definitely want to try to catch up with them more now that I have my son, so he gets to know them all too and has lots of people to love him. But in saying that, he has aunts and uncles who we deliberately keep him from because of their own problems (drugs, mainly). So I guess it depends on your situation.

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    MAJS  (20-03-2015)

  4. #3
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    To me, it's not overly important.

    I didn't grow up with extended family around me. We always seemed to live a few hours away from everyone else, so sometimes I'd only see my Aunts/Uncles/Cousins/Grandparents once or twice a year.

    My feelings on the matter are probably based on the fact that I don't know what I'm missing though? If I lived really close to my relatives and saw them regularly, I'd probably miss them if we moved away.

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    MAJS  (20-03-2015)

  6. #4
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    I grew up around my extended family and it was fantastic. My cousins and I are still extremely close. Looking back, time with my cousins hold the dearest memories for me. As a single mum, my mum had a great deal of support which was very helpful especially around school holidays.

    My children don't and probably won't have cousins. I feel really sad for them but I have built up an amazing community of close friends who I rely heavily on for support. Family is what you make it. I'm extra aware of doing amazing things as a family and then spending lots of time with friends. Friday night fish and chips down at the park, pj and movie nights (with parents enjoying a drink outside).

    If you love where you love, don't feel guilty about family. Like I said, you can chose your own family of friends. You might live in the same suburb and never see them. Your kids will be happy either way.

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    MAJS  (20-03-2015)

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    For me its hugely important. I grew up with lots of extended family around and even now, while we dont see or speak often due to cousins (including 2nd and 3rd cousins etc) moving away and starting their own families, we still have that bond. There is always someone there even if its just a phone call, and xmas and celebrations when we are all together are the most amazing times. I want my kids to experience that. Dh grew up with very little family and now its just him, and his 3 younger siblings. So to him its even more important our kids have that experience, because he knows what its like not to have that.

    Our kids have cousins on dh's side that they will never have a relationship with. Our kids family is my family. And while its 'distant family', they still tell everyone they are cousins and take great pride in it.
    Last edited by SheWarrior; 20-03-2015 at 10:18.

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    As with degrassi I grew up without extended family around and it never bothered me. Apparently most family were not too far- an hour or so- but for whatever reason my folks never bothered (and vice versa) to make an effort.

    So I saw cousins/aunts/uncles maybe once every 2 years until we were teenagers. Now as adult I wouldn't even recognise them....
    Saved on a fortune with our wedding lol!

    Having a happy inner family and support and security is what matters
    Last edited by Little Miss Sunshine; 20-03-2015 at 10:30.

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    Not very important to me.
    I grew up surrounded by an extended family, and they are horrid, horrid people (90% or so).

    I would rather my kids had friends, me and their dad.

    ETA: all my family (bar an aunt and cousin) are in Europe. Most of DH's cousins are also in Europe (but not on speaking terms). Only DH's parents and brother are nearby. His brother only has one child and s unlikely to have more.
    So it's not an option regardless.
    Last edited by DT75; 20-03-2015 at 10:48.

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    MAJS  (20-03-2015)

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    I didnt grow up with extended family - we all visited, but they mostly lived out of the state so we only saw them every couple of years. My kids don't have cousins nearby (yet - my brother lives about 45 minutes away so one day he might have kids I'm sure they'll hang out but mine will obviously be quite a bit older than his as he has no plans for a family any time soon)

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  17. #10
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    I didn't grow up around any extended family. We weren't that far from each other and caught up for some Christmas' or family holidays. As adults now, some have obviously spent more time together but we all definitely get along, have a laugh and chat together.

    We are living in the same town DH grew up in. Most of his extended family are still here also, so both sets of DS' immediate families too and I couldn't imagine moving away. It would have to be for a huge pay rise/opportunity/couple of year thing for me to do it.

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