How to Encourage Cousin Time

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cousins sitting on deck

For many people, the time spent with family is the most important thing. As a parent, you want your child to have the best family experience possible as they grow up. Cousin relationships are a huge part of family relationships.

Next to their siblings, the only relationship more important and formative for your young children is the one they build with their cousins. If you are lucky enough to live close to your children’s’ cousins, you should foster that relationship as much as you can. 

At Twin Cities Kids Club, we recognize the vital role that cousin relationships play in your child’s development. Come with us as we go over some of the reasons your children need their cousins in their lives. 

A large family with cousin grandparent father and kid on a forest

Cousins Become A Support System

Next to their siblings, the closest people to your children will likely be their cousins. Often, cousins can even become best friends. 

What could be better than a best friend who just happens to be related to you?

Cousins who grow up together and spend a lot of time together end up the guardians of each others secrets.  The fact that they share blood ties ensures that the cousins are more likely to keep each other’s confidence and less likely to judge. 

Plus, cousins can always call, text, or facetime. They are family, so they don’t even have to plan it, just pick up the phone and connect. 

Whenever everyone attends large family gatherings, cousins can band together and keep each other entertained. As they grow and mature, the cousins will share many of the same memories that will keep them close and connected well into adulthood. 

In the eyes of your child, there are few events more compelling than anytime he or she can see the cousins. If you want to see pure excitement, tell your children they are seeing their cousins. 

Portrait of two beautiful girl, indoors

Cousins Will Always Have Each Other’s Back

When they spend a lot of time together, the bond between cousins is strong. The best cousin relationships are ones that become almost as strong as the one between siblings. 

Brothers and sisters tend to fight like cats at dogs. When push comes to shove, though, siblings are always there for backup when it is needed. 

Just like siblings, cousins can get into a few fights as well. What’s a little hair pulling and toy stealing between family, am I right?

The passion that inspires those knock-down fights leads to true loyalty and an unbreakable bond. 

Cousins who are close will defend each other from bullies, stand up for one another in a fight, and protect each other from harm. As someone who grew up closely alongside a large group of cousins, that ‘one for all, all for one’ mentality carries through into adulthood.  

We may still fuss and fight sometimes, but if someone outside the family says something negative about one of us, they better watch out!

happy young girls

Who Needs a Plan?

If you are lucky enough to live in the same area as your family, your kids will be able to spend countless afternoons and nights with their cousins. 

Because you are all family, you will be able to spend time together without the necessity of making a plan first. 

There is nothing better than an impromptu cousin sleepover whenever it is possible. 

The best cousin sleepovers take place at grandma and grandpa’s, but they are just as fun as mom, dads, or auntie and uncles. 

The need for an overnight bag tends to disappear; families share everything; toys, clothes, beds, and even toothbrushes (yuck!). 

Plus, as the host of the sleepover, the stress level is much lower because it is almost like having your own kids sleeping over. 

There are also things you can do outside of the home. Gather all the cousins and head to the Minnesota Children’s Museum. Plan a pool party and follow these safety tips. Let them go crazy at an open gym. The possibilities are endless.

Group of happy cheerful beautiful children

Family Vacations Are Elevated

Family vacations are great. They are a great way to escape the rigors of everyday life and to reconnect as a family unit. 

While we all love a vacation with just our immediate family, big extended family vacations can be quite special as well. 

The kids will spend days playing and bonding. They will easily keep each other entertained for hours at a time. 

All this cousin bonding time will allow for a little grown-up bonding time as well. You will get to reconnect with your childhood playmates as you watch your kids make memories that they will cherish for the rest of their lives. 

They will play all day and fall exhausted into bed, giggling. Your heart will soar as you listen to them speak to each other in a language and cadence all their own. 

Try to let them experience as many of these bonding moments as you can. Foster those healthy cousin relationships and memories. 

A Fun time for family children in summer forest

Family Should Always Come First

Time and time again, studies prove that one of the most critical factors in altruistic behavior is a genetic connection. The term ‘kinship premium’ applies to this phenomenon. 

According to this theory, an individual will choose to help or support a family member over a friend in most cases. Even distant relatives are more likely to receive aid. 

While we strive to teach our children the importance of kindness and compassion, it appears those feelings are already deeply ingrained in us, especially when it comes to family. 

It is hard to determine the root cause of this kinship premium. Perhaps one of the reasons is that cousins help us feel a connection to our heritage. 

As you grow up, you inevitably will become the only people who remember your grandparents and then parents. Your memories will keep your dearly departed family members alive. 

It will become your responsibility to pass on the stories and traditions that make your family unique. 

Obviously, the benefits of helping your children form strong family bonds are invaluable. Please help them to see the importance of those cousin relationships while they are still young. 

If you live in the Twin Cities, MN area, join the Twin Cities Kids Club today.  Let us be your one-stop-shop for all the best local deals and discounts.

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