Confirmed: Aunties Are Just As Important As Mums When Raising Girls
Thank your aunties!
Paramount Domestic Television / CBS
Mums are the most important female role models in our life, right? RIGHT!
But it turns out that, when raising girls, it’s also extremely important to have your aunties around!
Psychologist and author of Raising Girls and 10 Things Girls Need Most, Steve Biddulph, revealed to ABC’s Parental As Everything podcast that aunties (and women in similar roles) are extremely important for young girl's wellbeing and development.
While it’s important for us to be able to turn to our parents for advice and model behaviour, it’s also crucial to have other positive role models to turn to.
He explained, "One of the things that we know is that, for example, something every 12 year old girl knows for sure is that she doesn't wanna turn out like her mum.
"This is sad, I'm not taking any joy in this, but there are phases when they don't wanna listen to you, but they still need lots of help.”
Steve advised that anybody who has a niece or a close friend’s daughter as a honorary niece, to take them under their wing to help them live their best life and have someone to turn to.
"Aunties are a pillar of mental health for girls. It doesn't have to be a blood relation, it's just somebody around your mum's age who loves you too."
He also suggested that once your niece is eight, you should try and do fun activities and lunch outings with them without their parents, to build that bond together - with the parent’s consent, of course!
"If you don't provide this then girls will default to the peer group, and this is where social media gets out of control, because the peer group is very ill equipped to be supportive.”
While it’s important for young girls to be able to come to their auntie and other similar figures for advice about the big things and topics they might not feel comfortable broaching with their mum - it’s always essential for aunties and such to make sure mums are comfortable with everything that’s going on and is talked about.
After all, mum’s the word!
You can read more about the science behind this HERE.