Do YOU think it's important to raise your kids around extended family?

posted 3 years ago in Parenting
Post # 3
Member
7195 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

No. My parents moved to another state when I was a toddler, and in Australia that means a long way away from people in other states. So I saw my grandparents once every year or so (and other extended family even less). My parents made friends with neighbours, had active social lives, and us kids did fine.

Post # 4
Member
2325 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I don’t have children myself yet but when I grew up, I had aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins etc that lived fairly locally. Does that mean we spent all our time together? No, we saw each other at Christmas and randomly throughout the year but we weren’t constantly in each other’s lives. That was because our “extended family” were people in our church. Those were the people we surrounded ourselves by, they were the ones we turned to in times of trouble or in times of happiness. 

So yes, I think it is important to raise children with an “extended family” but that could have a different connotation for different people. I think it is extremely difficult to raise a child purely by yourself with no “outside” help at all. 

Post # 5
Member
295 posts
Helper bee

Truthfully I don’t think it that important. Sure I had cousins around me growing but they were either eight years older or eight years younger so I never knew what it was like having a family member close to me in age.  I know when we have children we won’t having anyone near by and I will not tolertate anyone (including family) staying for an extended amount of time (I like my space and don’t always like to share).

 

But in truth it sounds like their relationship is on the rocks. Even if they move back I wouldn’t be surpise to hear it didn’t work out in the end. Also she could just be feeling isolated while being over there and never truely made friends.

Post # 6
Member
2325 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@paula1248:  this adds to my post above, your parents surrounded themselves with a different kind of “family” but they still had support through friendship with neighbours and your friendship with their children. 

Post # 7
Member
454 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

I think if that is how Mary grew up I can understand why it would be very very important to her.

I however, did not grow up like that. When we were younger we would see extended family maybe once every 2 years. As we got older it just became less and less. Now we only ever really see some cousins at funerals that we have to travel to.

While growing up my parents basically created their own extended family. I am still close to all these people and consider them more family than actual blood relatives. I even just tell strangers that so and so is an aunt/uncle/cousin.

Post # 8
Member
980 posts
Busy bee

I loved growing up surrounded by family. Most of my cousins were around the same age and we got together frequently. I’m now godmother to the kids of one of my cousins. It’s like having loads of brothers and sisters. I can’t imagine childhood, or adulthood without such a big support network and when I have kids they will definitely be brought up closely with their family. I totally understand her wanting to move back to her home.

Post # 9
Member
844 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

Not really. It’s nice to raise kids as part of a big family – but it’s definitely not required.

Post # 10
Member
1867 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

I don’t think it matters much, personally. My parents moved a 16 hour drive away from their parents before I was born, so I saw my grandparents about once a year and some aunts/uncles/cousins I’ve met only once in my life (and I haven’t seen any of them in probably 10+ years).

We live in a different country than either of our sets of parents and it’s fine. Having family around helps, of course, because you have easier access to childcare but wherever we’ve lived, we’ve made our own family amongst our close friends. My best friend has always been my daughter’s auntie, and I prefer the company of my friends (who I choose to have in my life) versus my family.

Post # 11
Member
1304 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

It is convenient to live near my parents because I would not want to have to spend precious vacation time and dollars comin home to visit regularly.

A majority of my friends live in this area too, and that is equally if not more important to me.  I am not really interested in starting my social life over from scratch.  No one I meet now will compare to the old friends I have known for over a decade.

Post # 13
Member
381 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@texasbee:  I think is absolutely important, but that’s also how I grew up so I could be slightly biased! Ha! I grew up in a very small community – 3 towns of less than 500 for one school, and my mom’s brother lived in the same area. They had four kids, we had three, and we were incredibly close! We grew up together, they were our best friends. All four of them were recently in our wedding and one of the girls was my MOH (I don’t have a sister.) My husband actually works for their family farm right now. I currently live six hours away from everyone, including my husband, and cannot wait to go back. My brother lives halfway across the country, and he’s planning on moving back. We LOVE living next to family and want our kids to be as close to each other as we were to our cousins. 

When we were able to spend time together (tricky because of the demands of farm life) we would build forts, go out to the woods together, go horseback riding, bake like no other, have sleep overs at grandma’s, it was a blast! They were like siblings.

Post # 14
Member
1304 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

@texasbee:  I should add that, had I already signed up for a life of PCSing — which I probably would not have chosen anyway — I would definitely not turn around and be a complete brat towards my husband about it.  So there are really two separate issues addressed by your question.

Post # 15
Member
6740 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

I do see both sides.  I think if it had a time limit- like 3 years as you said- then I might stick it out.  But having family around when you have kids does make it easier.  Although I had extened family around growing up, none of my cousins were near my age and I honestly don’t like a lot of my relatives.  But now that I have children, I appreciate having my mom and MIL close by.

Post # 16
Member
11772 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2013

@texasbee:  I grew up with ALL my family within 10 miles! I’m so, so sad that our kids won’t have this oppertunity!

But if all our family was still in one location, I would probably try to find a way to live there, or take entended vacations there several times a year!

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