I'm not going to lie: In our family, we have our share of spats. Someone is always ticking someone else off over something. But we do a good job of not letting it affect the children. If my sister and I are spatting, I know that her and my daughter's relationship won't falter. There is a bond my daughter shares with her aunts that is reassuring. I know that when she has questions that she may not want to necessarily ask me, that she has the option of going to one of them. I trust that if they feel the topic she's discussing with them is too intense, that they would let me in immediately. In fact, I know they will -- when Gigi was using Face Time with one of her aunts and being a little too rowdy with the kids at our holiday party after being sick, her aunt immediately told her she was going to text me about it and did just that. She shares a unique relationship with each of her aunts and they all seem to fill a special niche in her life. Don't get me wrong; she finds them all fun and enjoys spending time with each one, but she definitely shares different things with each. She has one she texts fashion pics and clothing ideas to; another she talks to about goofy, silly things and who can always make her laugh; another who is her piano partner and she talks to about school and future ideas and outdoor sports. She has another aunt who she can yap with about Legos, puppies, cakes and boys! She's kinda an all-around expert! But she loves them all the same.
It's important that she maintains these relationships, because it teaches her to value family and also because she learns so much from each and how to interact with different people. It also helps instill a sense of security and belonging -- she is part of a large, loving family that are actively a part of her life. As her parent, I also make it a point to help foster and feed these relationships in her life, letting her aunts know of her skating classes or other events and making it a point to schedule time or attend family events. While kids are little, they're not able to do this on their own, so I make sure to. I try not to ever let her know if there is a family squabble going down but like I said it never affects their relationships. I feel confident that she can always count on them and she is excited as can be when there is an event that they can all attend and support her at. So this holiday, when you can't take one more minute of family time and you feel like whacking your brother over the head with a carton of egg nog, just remember you're being watched. Your kids, your nieces and nephews are paying attention when you think they're not. They learn how to interact with their siblings and cousins by watching the adults at family gatherings. So try to set a good example and always let your kids spend time with family even if you've had your fill for the season. :) Remember you're making memories they won't forget and enriching their lives in many ways !