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Family relationships

Nannas, grandads, aunties, uncles, relations, brothers, sisters, cousins and other people make up the extended family. Everyone has a role in growing up kids.

The extended family has many roles. They can help look after the kids, teach about the history and culture of the family, help out with work or money, and be there if mum or dad needs help.

Good things about family:

  • There is always someone around to help out. 
  • They give lots of love just like mum and dad. 
  • Kids can hear stories about who is in the family and where they come from. 
  • They give kids a sense of belonging. 
  • They can learn and teach about family history, culture and values. 
  • Extended family are great listeners. 
  • There are other kids to play with. 

Sharing the load

Kids are fun but can sometimes be a handful. Family will be there if mum or dad needs help from time to time. Relations make great babysitters. They know and care about your kids. Your kids will enjoy spending time with them because they can learn new things.

Different generations, different ideas

A strong cultural background helps build strong families. Sometimes traditional ways of growing up kids change to more modern ways. This can cause problems. Your family might not like some ideas you have about growing up kids and might feel a bit left out.

If your family has problems with the way you grow up your kids think about these things:

  • Remember both you and your family want what is best for your kids. 
  • Explain why you do what you do and ask for their support—this will help them feel valued and understand your choices. 
  • Having a yarn with your family helps—they might have good ideas too. 

Everyone together

Here are some ideas on including the whole family with growing up kids:

  • Gather everyone for a barbeque, meal or party. 
  • Talk to your elders about ideas which will help your kids grow up happy, healthy and strong. 
  • Ask your relations if they would like to spend time with your kids. 
  • Talk with your kids about who is in their family and where they come from. 
  • Teach your kids about respect by showing them who is a good role model in their family. 

Some jobs the family can do to help grow up kids include:

  • letting kids know what the rules are and sticking to them 
  • keeping kids out of trouble 
  • getting them to and from school 
  • giving them a safe place to stay 
  • talking to their mum or dad when they think something is wrong 
  • just letting them know you're there. 

If you are a man who wants support in strengthening his family you can contact Mensline Australia on 1300 78 99 78. Available 24/7 for the cost of a local call, Mensline Australia is a national telephone and online counselling support service for men with family or relationship concerns.

Adapted from www.community.wa.gov.au/DFC, Dec 2007, by permission

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