Having a big family might be chaotic, but it also comes with a long list of benefits and advantages. I have seen big flourishing families leading fulfilled and healthy lives, and I have always thought to myself just how special that is. I believe that it is so special that I am dedicating this piece to the benefits of having a big extended family. If you’ve been feeling negative towards yours, perhaps this will bring about refreshed appreciation for all the blessings you really have.
As you’ll see, there are quite a few benefits to having a large and expansive family. Call the grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins and tell them just how much they mean to you, because it’s obvious that such relationships bring real value to life. Want to take a look at the many ways that an extended family can add value and convenience to your life? Read on.
16 ways living in an extended family can be beneficial to your life:
1. Children learn to grow up as part of a community or society.
Sometimes, children that grow up in small nuclear families might not get that true sense of community growing up. When in a large extended family, kids learn from an early age that everyone has their part to play and that everyone needs to be there for each other in order to ensure that the family unit (aka the community) can thrive and prosper.
2. Family members develop strong emotional bonds.
In modern times it is uncommon for people to form strong emotional ties with a large group of people. Most people have a group of friends, but only really bond emotionally with a life partner and possibly one or two close friends. With an extended family, you get to enjoy the full benefits of developing emotional bonds with others who are making themselves emotionally available to you.
3. There’s always a baby sitter around.
One of the most stressful parts of having kids in the modern age is that babysitters are few and far between. It’s hard to trust a stranger with your baby and a whole lot easier to leave the young kids in the care of the family. If you live with a big extended family, there’s always someone available to help you take care of the kids while you need to go to the shop, meet a client, go to an appointment, or aren’t feeling well. No money charged!
4. Companionship is always available.
Imagine arriving home after a hard day, dying for a cup of coffee and a chat with just anyone who can take your mind off the work stresses…and there’s no one available?! This happens to a lot of people who live alone or only have nuclear families. With an extended family, there’s always someone available to provide companionship.
5. Financial support can come from the family.
Ever been just a little short on the bills and need a bit of bridging cash to get you through a few days at the end of the month? Short-term loans come with hefty interest rates attached – and that’s if you even get approved for one in the first place. You will find that extended families are often quite helpful when there’s a financial crisis or glitch to face.
6. Family gatherings are fun-filled and entertaining.
Family events with a big family are always loads of fun. Extended families have members of all age groups, which can make these gatherings quite interesting. As an extended family, you can expect the events and celebrations to go on far longer than anticipated.
7. There are plenty of role models and advice-givers available.
Ever needed advice on a certain life issue? If you have an extended family, all you have to do is ask for advice. Chances are that everyone will have advice and opinions to give you. Just choose the advice that seems right for you!
8. Perpetual access to built-in best friends.
In most situations, your extended family will have your back, no matter what. Need a friend’s shoulder to cry on? Just turn to your family. Need someone to go to the movies with? Just ask a family member. Want another pair of judging eyes when going shopping for clothes? Ask a cousin or an aunt. Friends are always near when you have an extended family.
9. You have cheerleaders and protectors on the ready.
When something goes right, your family will be there cheering you on. When something goes wrong, and you need someone to stand up for you and protect you, you will have an entire team of supporters. As far as support systems go, extended families are the best.
10. There’s always food – and plenty of it.
Extended families seem to share food. There’s food for everything…think tasty meals, spoils, and treats. For me, this is probably the most enjoyable of all the benefits of having an extended family. You will never go hungry, and there will always be leftovers in the fridge.
11. Vacations are more fun for the kids.
When going on vacation with the extended family, the kids have the most fun. Parents feel more comfortable letting the kids have their own fun if there is a group of them. A child in a nuclear family would probably have to spend a lot of time with the parents, but kids in an extended family get to have their own vacation time together too – away from the parents.
12. Help is just a message or phone call away.
Need someone to help you out of a sticky situation in a hurry? Your family will always be there for you. Car breakdowns, flat tires, running late to pick up someone from the airport, picking the kids up from school – extended families tend to help each other out with this.
13. The share of elder-care is evenly spread.
As the older members in the family become frail, they need family to take care of them. An extended family is able to spread the responsibility of such care out equally. With everyone chipping in, the elderly family member also won’t feel like a burden on anyone person within the family.
14. Members are part of a family culture with interesting traditions.
Being part of a family is a very special thing. It provides family members with traditions and cultures to be a part of. This provides one with a sense of belonging, which is both emotionally and psychologically healthy.
15. The kids are never bored if you are busy.
You might worry that you aren’t giving the children enough attention when responsibilities start demanding your time. If you have kids and need to get things done, you won’t have to feel too bad because there is an entire extended family available to entertain them and spend time with them. Of course, you can’t always fob the kids off on family, but it’s nice to know that they are there when you need them.
16. Security for each family member.
Living as part of a big family provides a sense of security, not just in the home, but emotionally too. When staying alone, there is always risk of possible danger. As part of a big family, you can expect help and safety to always be at hand.
As far as extended families go, it looks like they are a pretty good thing for those who are part of it. A big wholesome family looking out for each other – what could be so bad about that? (check this article to find out). I have only served to deepen my respect and love of big families by writing this! Long live big extended families!