October 2, 2014

Aunt

An aunt is a type of relative, specifically the sister of a child’s father or mother or the wife of the uncle. The children are her niece and nephew. Thus, an aunt can be a blood or a non-blood relative. However, how an aunt is related is not as important as what aunts can bring to the life of a family.

In this age of smaller families, having an aunt or more than one aunt is increasingly less common. In the past, aunts and uncles and other relatives were an important part of the extended family, all of whom played a big role in raising children. However, this model of the family with many aunts and uncles has given way to the nuclear model of mom, dad, and the children.

This is unfortunate since many of us have great memories of a favorite aunt and uncle. Oftentimes, an aunt can provide a different perspective to children than their parents. The aunt can gain a child’s trust in a way that a father or mother cannot. Thus, many people have childhood memories of cool aunts who taught them about life or was there for them when their father or mother were not available, either literally or emotionally.

Growing up, my favorite aunt was Aunt Kathy. I always liked the way Aunt Kathy made prepared her food and would judge them better tasting than the cooking of my mom and dad. I also had an Aunt Carolyn who would let me eat cookies when my parents said no. An aunt has the advantage of having fun with her nieces and nephews and then can pawn them off on the parents when they get rowdy!

The role of the kindly aunt is found in the media as well. In the Andy Griffith Show, Aunt Bee became a beloved figure. Many children then and now wished they had such a perfect, nurturing aunt in their lives. Other examples of a famous aunt is found in the wizard of Oz where Aunt or “auntie” Em acts as Dorothy’s mother figure and treats her with great love and kindness.

I wish that every child would have the joy of knowing favorite aunts and I make sure that my daughters see their aunt regularly to learn from her wisdom. I hope my little ones can look back with fondness on their favorite aunt the way I look back fondly on my love for aunts Kathy and Carolyn. Sadly, with so many families broken apart by distance or other factors many kids will never know a loving aunt.

Please share facts about aunts or even the name of a special aunt in your life in our comments section. Click “post to Facebook” to share your comment with your friends list.

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