Aunts Are 'Just As Important' As Moms When Raising Girls, Expert Says

They say that it takes a village to raise a child. This means, in essence, that most kids are raised by more than just their parents.

According to an expert, aunts are "just as important" as moms when it comes to raising girls. His comments shone new light on those auntie-niece relationships.

Parenting expert Steve Biddulph made the comments on a podcast.

Biddulph, who's written about the unique challenges of raising girls, was a guest on an episode of the Parental as Anything podcast. He and host Maggie Dent discussed a wide range of parental issues.

Teenage girls face all kinds of pressures.

Unsplash | leah hetteberg

In the social media age, it's more common than ever for girls to experience body issues and mental health challenges.

Sometimes, Biddulph says, a girl might not want to discuss this stuff with her mom.

This is where aunts come in.

"Aunties are a pillar of mental health for girls," explained Biddulph. "It doesn't have to be a blood relation, it's just somebody around your mom's age who loves you, too."

Bonding is crucial.

Unsplash | Simon Rae

Biddulph says that in order to forge a strong bond, it's important to build a relationship with nieces that's separate from their parents. Around age eight, he says, aunts should spend time with their nieces one-on-one.

Aunts can ask the big questions.

Biddulph says girls can rely on aunts to answer the questions they'd rather not ask their moms. He suggests asking questions like, "What do you want your life to be about?"

Aunts, moms, and daughters, we're curious: what do you think of this advice? Does it ring true for you? Let us know in the comments!

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