Visits to the grandparents’ house, play dates with the cousins and cosy family gatherings are some of the most memorable moments in one’s life. While everyone looks forward to such occasions, regularly spending time with your extended family also contributes to your overall well-being.

Here are some ways spending time with the extended family can influence and mould individual members.

1. Offers a Sense of Security

By spending time with your extended family and strengthening your ties with them, you also grow more secure. You stand assured that when the circumstances arise, you can always rely on your family members to have your back. 

2. Improves Children’s Self Esteem

Children who spend more time with extended family members while growing up have a higher self-esteem and self-worth. This can be attributed to the attention and affection showered upon them not only by their parents but by all their loved ones such as their grandparents, aunts and uncles. Children also develop a stronger sense of identity by associating themselves with a larger social network through their extended family.

3. Acts as Support for Parents

Parenting is a full-time responsibility and, hence, having the constant support and encouragement of extended family members can prove to be very helpful for parents. These extended family members, in turn, play an important role in the healthy emotional and social development of your children.

Here are 3 few ways you can include extended family time into your schedule:

1. Family Get-togethers

Try to organise family get-togethers as often as possible. Each family could take turns in hosting dinner nights, or you could all gather to watch a movie or play sports. Over time, these occasions may form a new family tradition. You can also encourage your children to spend time with their cousins by going for play dates or hobby classes together. 

2. Family Vacations

Once a year, the entire family could come together for a holiday. This would give everyone a chance to reconnect and create new memories together. If the grandparents or relatives live in another city, for instance, spending the holidays visiting their city is a great way to stay updated on each others’ lives.

3. Family “Whatsapp” Groups

With numerous group messaging applications available today, staying in touch with relatives has never been easier. Whether they live down the street or somewhere across the globe, creating a family-only “Whatsapp” chat group and regularly sending updates would foster a sense of connectedness and togetherness in the family.

As the saying goes, “Family is where life begins and love never ends.” Making time for your extended family can enhance your quality of life and emotional well-being. As your ties with extended family members grow stronger, your relationship with immediate family members will also become more enduring and everlasting.