Our Son Needs Time with Extended Family

by on November 2nd, 2010
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As parents of a pre-teen, my wife and I have dedicated ourselves to spending time with our son every day. Occasionally, however, days come in which we cannot spend as much time with him as we would like. When these occasions arise, we want him to interact with and get to know his extended family members as much as possible. Birthdays, holidays, and other special events allow this to happen. In addition, other situations arise that bring about good opportunities for our son to spend time with his uncles, aunts, and cousins.

My son’s uncle, my brother

During my wife’s recent hospital stay, my brother offered to keep my son for a day while I stayed with my wife. I thanked him for the offer. My eleven-year-old boy does not want to spend his Christmas vacation sitting in a hospital room. My brother has two kids of his own, and he, his wife, and the three kids spent the day playing games and going to the movies. Even though he did not have much time with us that day, he enjoyed himself and got to know some of his extended family better. When we got home that night, he told me all about the wonderful day that he spent with his aunt, uncle, and cousins.

My son’s uncle, my wife’s brother

We spent Christmas Day with my wife’s side of the family. My sister-in-law has her husband and two kids, and my wife’s brother and father and the rest of the family all joined in. After we praised God, ate Christmas dinner, and opened presents, my brother-in-law took the kids out back to fish in the pond. My wife and I let our son spend the afternoon with his uncle and two cousins; we had time with him all morning and again in the evening. We each went out at various times to see how well they all did. My son caught his share of fish, but the best thing was seeing him open up to his uncle and cousins. A few days later, as my wife returned to the hospital for follow-up procedures, her brother offered to take our son for the day. Again, he had a chance to get to know his uncle even more.

Special time welcome

Each time, we both wanted our son with us at the hospital, but we took advantage of the opportunities for him to bond more with his extended family. I did not do that as much as I grew up, and now I wish that I had gotten to know my uncles, aunts, and cousins much better. Our son has only one grandfather left, and we want them to spend as much time as possible together as well. Extended family is very important to us, and we want it to become important to him also. That way, when the kids all grow up, they can keep the family strong.

More from this contributor:

Learning from Parenting Mistakes

Teaching Our Son About Alcohol
Making Sure Our Son Chooses Good Friends


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