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An extended family in Spain.

An extended family in Spain.
Image source: Wikipedia

An extended family is a family structure consisting not only of parents and children (as with a nuclear family), but also of other relatives such as aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and grandparents. Back in 1996, 21% of adults were part of an extended family. As society progressed, how people viewed extended families also changed.

Many treat the extended family as being burdensome. It’s understandable, due to various circumstances surrounding an extended family living in one home. But there are certain pros to living with a lot of relatives in one house!

Here, I’ll talk about what’s lovely about such family structure. Below are some points which you may find interesting about having a lot of members in your household!

1.) A Huge Support Structure

Any member may talk to a relative within the extended family regarding certain emotional concerns. Some may be able to help out on a certain matter which others cannot. Parents may not be experts in a certain field, whereas uncles or aunts may be. In that sense children will have various role models to look up to, in case parents aren’t around or if siblings are too busy. There will also be several mediators in the family in case things go awry.

 

2.) Grandparents Looking After Children

Whenever the parents are away, grandparents staying at home are always there to make sure kids don’t get into trouble. This is especially convenient if the parents are out working during the day. It rids the need of a babysitter or a nanny!

 

3.) A Less Lonely Environment

With a lot of blood relatives around—aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, nephews, and nieces—the entire household could be a lot of fun! There are always cousins children can play with and elders who’d tell interesting stories. Having more people means less loneliness. Even for introverts, being lonely for a long period of time may be unhealthy. People around will keep one’s loneliness at bay.

 

4.) Financial Aid and Contributions

The whole household may collectively contribute to whatever needs to be done within the home—from paint jobs to repairs. Members may also throw in to other things such as house parties and funerals. They may contribute to rent, utility expenses, and food. The more generous may help out a member in certain aspects such as paying for tuition or consultation fees.

 

Perhaps an extended family isn’t for everyone. You probably need that sense of privacy which is impossible to grab a hold of when there are a lot of members in the household. That’s why in my next blog post, I’m going to discuss the cons of having an extended family just to balance things out. Stay tuned!

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