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Aunts are very important and while we don’t always understand why, I think that’s something most of us can agree on. Just about all of us have an aunt we can go to when we can’t talk to our parents about something, right?

Of course you love your mom and dad but that cool aunt who is there when you call at three am or you’re frustrated at your parents and don’t know who to turn to is pretty amazing, right? Our parent’s siblings are some of the first people we meet as babies, and they watch us grow up all the while usually spoiling us in ways our parents would never. When mom and dad need a break, visiting with your aunt is always fun, isn’t it?

Well, this isn’t just something we think it’s science-backed in some ways. Sure, aunts are older, but they are prominent figures in our lives, especially for those of us who are nieces. They don’t replace our mothers, but they do give us a woman we can turn to for the more embarrassing things. 

Dr. Axe wrote as follows on some of the benefits aunts provide:

One way that an aunt helps her niece discover new things is through play. Playing helps a child build her imaginary world, discover new things, and build trust. “Researchers have found that responsive, nurturing caregivers can predict healthy intellectual and emotional development,” Notkin explains.

Aunts are also important because of their ability to provide a nurturing environment. Nurturing is a key factor in bonding and healthy attachment, according to Notkin.

Research published in The American Psychologist suggests that nurturing environments do the following:

Teach, promote and reinforce prosocial behavior, including skills needed to become productive adults members of society

Monitor and limit opportunities for problem behavior

Foster psychological flexibility and support mindfulness

Minimize psychological and biological toxic events

When kids have nurturing relationships with their aunts from a young age, they become better problem solvers, are more empathetic, and enjoy higher self-esteem. A secure baby, young girl, and adolescent can thrive because of this sense of support.

Aunts are a shoulder to lean on, and they really do help support our children in big ways. They are there in times of joy and in times of sadness. We all know that we can turn to them when we need them and well, as it has been said before sometimes it takes a village to raise a child. As an aunt or perhaps an uncle how many times have you been called to pick up your niece or nephew from school when they were sick? 

I know, it might be overlooked often but our aunts deserve some thanks. They after all have been here for us through some intense moments. My aunts have always been here for me.