extended family handsWithin my family I’m a great-aunt, and to some of my friends, I’m “like-an-aunt” to their kids or grandchildren.  I’m also “like-a-grandma” to two dear children. What spiritual impact can extended family have on kids?

Time well spent

We’re inching our way toward time well spent with the children we love. I find that kids appreciate one-on-one time most. Sherry Turkle, psychologist at MIT, says,”There’s a brand-new dynamic. Rather than compete with their siblings for their parents’ attention, children are up against iPhones and iPads, Siri and Alexa, Apple watches and computer screens.” Extended family can give children additional undivided attention outside of busy everyday family life.  We listen and mirror back to a child what we hear, which helps them process and accept what they feel and think.

Discover life’s purpose

When’s the last time you pulled out your phone to do something and you get distracted, and 30 minutes later you find that you’ve done 10 other things except the thing that you pulled out the phone to do. There’s fragmentation and distraction.

For kids who do this, there’s something on a longer-term level to keep in view: that sense of what you’re about.

Extended family has the luxury of spending a child’s free time with them. As we have fun together without gadgets, we adults can create a shared narrative with a child, a shared truth or shared facts. All of these strengthen a child’s foundation upon which they discover their moral purpose. We’re empowering a child to become the person he or she wants to be.


Tweetable: Two more easy ways to empower children to become the person he or she wants to be. But first, put down those gadgets but not before you check this out!  Click to Tweet