Are Extended Family Relationships of Value in Today's Society? - Wholesome Life Journal

Are Extended Family Relationships of Value in Today’s Society?

Relationships in the extended Family

9For the purposes of this article an extended family may be defined as a mini society of individuals consisting of grandparents, parents, children, grandchildren and possible great grandchildren; while there may be even more generations represented it is rare. It is not necessary for these individuals to live together in a single housing unit, or even in the same geographical area, merely that they originate in the same family unit started by the grandparents or great grandparents.

There are a variety of relationships between the individuals and the separate nuclear families, but in today’s world these relationships seem to be fading. Geography plays a large part as siblings move apart from each other and from the grandparents of their children and distance makes a close relationship much more difficult. Interests of different families inevitably change and take different directions and old family traditions often die off as new members join the extended family in the form of spouses, often bringing their own ideas of family traditions into play. The question to be addressed is “Are these fading relationships between the various members of the extended family important, or should they be, in our changing world?”

Maintaining a relationship isn’t easy

Maintaining an extended family relationship isn’t easy whether over long distances or from next door. It takes work on the part of all the parties involved, just like any other good relationship. Siblings often have to overcome a good deal of sibling rivalry from the childhood and sometimes disappointment in or dislike of their parents. Child rearing concepts are often a point of contention as siblings differ in their own methods and with the methods their parents used. As people grow their interests and desires change; a country boy that wants nothing more than to camp in the peace and quiet of the forest may have to find a common point of interest with a city girl that won’t consider setting one elegant high heeled shoe into a woodlands meadow – she isn’t interested in anything outside of the hustle and bustle of the city. (Read More)

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