I’m not a parent as yet, but my current belief in how my DH and I will parent includes strong relationships with extended family – as in spending regular time with Grandparents and cousins etc as well as occasional baby sitting from trusted friends. I guess this relates to my upbringing whereby I spent a lot of time with grandparents and the full suite of aunties, uncles, cousins. I am also hoping to raise an adaptable bub which can tolerate new surroundings, situations and trust care givers other than myself and DH.
I often read comments on Bubhub which appear to uphold the view of the nuclear family raising children only and I guess I am wondering whether parents believe there is an expectation to maintain independence? Or is it circumstantial?
How does your family operate? Does it include extended family (or trusted friends) in some parenting activities? And if so, why? Was that natural to you? Or did you have to learn to trust? Slowly release some control?
Or does your family operate independently? And if so, why? Was that natural to you? Is it a strong sense of parental responsibility? Is it fear? The possibility of something going wrong? Perceived expectation? Were you highly optimistic like me, but bub had other ideas?
(Noting that family is obviously not nearby for many people, so its simply not an option).
Lots of questions/thoughts, but I am genuinely intrigued & think its an interesting issue for everyone to share their approach (provided that we don't get views along the lines of 'my way is best').
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07-08-2013 20:59 #1
Nuclear Family vs Extended Family?
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07-08-2013 21:18 #2
Extended family are very much involved in our lives. My family and DH's family all live within 10 minutes. My dad works part time from home so visits for a coffee 3-4 times a week. When I was working 2 days a week family looked after DS. It's so so great, DH and I love that our kids have such a big "support network" and such close relationships with their aunties and grandparents.
Also, I have been lucky as I believe my involved family has been one of many factors leading to me not feeling isolated as a mother.
07-08-2013 21:24 #3
I was 19 when I had DD1, who was unexpected, and was still living with my parents.
Though I moved out once married half a year later, both my parents and DHs mum have always babysat my kids (now 9, 3.5 and 2.5), and they love going for sleepovers which they've had at least once a month since babies.
They've only just had their first cousin born yesterday, but I hope they grow up close with them also.
Maybe it was because we were young and still valued social events more or just needed that extra support that motivated our trust. I can't say that it was ever anything I actively considered.
Each to their own I guess
07-08-2013 21:42 #4Senior Member
- Join Date
- Jun 2013
For us it is extended family.
Firstly, I could never imagine going it alone, I accept any help I can get and that for me is on a daily basis from my family members. We socialise together, play together, exercise together, eat & drink together. I couldn't live without them.
Secondly, I believe that all DS's relatives have a right to a relationship with him as he has a right to a relationship with them - regardless of whether or not my in-laws can drive me up the wall at times, it is their grandchild and nephew. I am very clear though, I expect people to respect my parenting choices, particularly when he is in their care and they are all very, very good at not crossing any boundaries, so I am lucky.
I had nieces and nephews long before I had children of my own and I have played such a key role in their lives, the relationships between a child and their aunties, uncles, grandparents, cousins are so important (obviously as long as none of those people or the relationships are toxic to the child in any way).
So yep, extended family all the way
07-08-2013 21:44 #5
My family is very nuclear and it is circumstantial.
even though we see my parents every week because of my dd personality I couldn't leave her with them as she would get so upset if they even looked at her. Plus my parents have other grand kids to look after . My in laws both work so my kids only see them on weekends when dh decides he wants to visit which isn't often.
Pre kids I always thought my sister and I could babysit each others kids and have sleepovers etc but at this stage everyone is very busy working and doing their own activities plus we live about an hour away from each other so it's just not practical. The kids are young as well.
I think having extended family network would be great but for now I am guided by my kids personalities and practicality.
Maybe when the kids are a bit older they will be more independent from us.
07-08-2013 21:57 #6Member
- Join Date
- Jun 2013
Extended family is very important to me. I think having strong relationships with a variety of people and ages offers a range of experiences and views (that your mum, dad and 1.4 siblings may not be able to offer). I feel it enables a more well rounded individual
07-08-2013 22:01 #7
We have a very big extended family. There will be lots of sleep overs at grandparent .and aunties houses it's how we were brought up
07-08-2013 22:09 #8
When I was growing up, the focus of our family was very much on the nuclear family (really we're a very well blended family) but mostly that was due to distance and just not having the opportunity to see extended family much. DH's family, I guess, are very nuclear family orientated though due to circumstances DH was looked after by his grandmother a great deal. His family (parents, sister etc) aren't all that close knit however.
With this bub I've been trying to get my parents involved a lot in my pregnancy - they are so enthusiatic about it, I love it. I really hope they can have a lot to do with our bub. We are mostly trying to avoid/distance ourself from DH's family as they are a little disfunctional and it can be really hard on DH's health (both mental & physical I guess) being around such negativity.
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07-08-2013 22:22 #9
i like the idea of 'it takes a village to raise a child'. there is so much to learn in this world and although i would like to think that i can teach my son everything, i know he could learn from many people.
i grew up with a very large extended family, full of love, support and learnt lots from everyone.
so far, my 18 day old little man has met up to 50 of my family and friends who all adore him
my crazy extended family will be a big part of his life
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07-08-2013 22:37 #10Senior Member
- Join Date
- Sep 2005
My ds sees my mum a lot and to a lesser extent , my dad...we are also close to extended family interstate and see each other as much as we can,,,
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