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Why Kids Need Their Cousins

Why Kids Need Their Cousins

Cousins can play such a vital role in a child's life. Cousins are often our first friends. The people we grow up with. The children we gather with on Birthdays and Christmas', year after year.

The memory bank between cousins can be plentiful if parents spend time helping to nurture these special family ties by bringing their children and their cousins together outside of the usual annual gatherings.

It is at this point that cousins can get to know one another truly. A time where their bonds can grow and blossom. The more time they spend together the more special their relationships will become, and in later years their bond will hold a very important place in their hearts.

Cousins can really add to the family dynamic - particularly if there are no other siblings in the family.
Countless play dates, gatherings during school holidays, sleepovers. Learning and growing together. You share the same blood. You grow up with the same people around you. You have similar life experiences and in essence its like having the benefits of a siblings but not having to live with them.

Even if this isn't the case and a child does have siblings, cousins can often feel like the brother or sister you wished you had. In our adult life, cousins are often closer than they are with their own siblings.

"Cousins, because parents couldn't handle us as sisters." — Unknown

From a parental perspective - you probably trust your siblings more than anyone. You know they will treat your children as their own. You know whilst in their care - they will be loved, encouraged and celebrated. Having a close network around you is vital for well being.

As you grow cousins are there for each other. As they start school for example, having an older cousin looking out for you - having a familiar face often brings comfort and reassurance.

Why Kids Need Their Cousins

Cousins are childhood playmates who grow up to be forever friends." — Unknown

I was incredibly fortunate to grow up within a very close extended family unit. We all gathered at least once a week. We piled into my Grandparents house each Sunday. 
It was all about being together

We danced to music and would often make our own. We invented our own games, taught each other things and we would inevitably attempt as much mischief as possible. We laughed till we cried.

As a woman in my 30's now I will never forget the happiness of them days. I truly believe the secure relationships I experienced as a child helped lay a concrete foundation for me as a grown up today.

 "A cousin is a little bit of childhood that can never be lost." — Marion C. Garretty

Why Kids Need Their Cousins

Because you have grown up together - when facing trials and tribulations a cousin can often be the strength and support we need to get us through hard times.
When the family experiences a loss for example - no one will be there to reminisce with you like a cousin. Not only that but you know they will feel the pain you do. You can help heal each other and help each other smile again. 

A cousin is someone who often knows your secrets. Someone who encourages and always has your best interests at heart.

Its feels natural and enjoyable to be around people who share similar interests, similar sense of humours. It feels like home - and the people we often feel like this with are our cousins. 

Perhaps distance keeps you apart for some time. Maybe you have work commitments or move away - once secure bonds have been made, cousins have an ability to pick up where they left off. Distance does not affect the bonds they have.

"Our roots say we're cousins. Our hearts say we're friends." — Unknown

"Some people make your laugh a little louder, your smile a little brighter, and your life a little better." — Unknown

So if you too are fortunate to have a cousin you adore or you are the parent working hard to make sure your children know their cousins - know that the bonds you have made and are in the process of making - will last a lifetime. 

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