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Posted on: July 3, 2019 at 8:19 pm

Cousins are amazing people to have. They are the closest thing to siblings without actually being so and our relationship with them doesn’t end just because they or we move to another city. 

Throughout our lives, our cousins play different special roles. From our toddler days to our declining years, we recognize our cousins — particularly the ones we like and grow up with — as special people in our lives. 

Their presence during our childhood often fills us with the same feelings as a sibling would but their presence, whenever they appear, fills us with maximum pleasure. Even when we reach adulthood, some cousins remain closer and more supportive than siblings. 

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Who is your cousin?

It is pretty common to hear the terms first and second cousins being thrown around frequently without understanding what they really mean. For those who don’t understand who their cousins really are, here are a few explanations of the cousin relationship [1]

  • First cousins –Our first cousins are the children of our aunts and uncles, i.e. the children of our parents’ siblings. We usually share one set of grandparents with them. In cases where our cousins are much older than we are and have children of their own, their children become our first cousins once removed because we are one generation apart and not our second cousins. Going by this system, our cousin’s grandchildren are our first cousins twice removed, and so on.
  • Second cousins- When we grow up, if we have children, our children and our cousins’ children will become second cousins as they share one set of great-grandparents.

Growing up with cousins

Growing up with cousins is such a wonderful gift to give your kids especially if they are an only child. They often remain there through all the best bits and important events throughout your child’s life. When you have cousins it’s like having a ton of extra brothers and sisters around to share your childhood experiences and memories with, except they are not as annoying (don’t tell them I said that) [2]

There is also something decidedly special about raising your kids close to their cousins, watching them as they grow up together and form their own life-long bonds. When you watch them together it can bring back happy memories of your own childhoods and how much you enjoyed having your own cousins to share it all with too. Growing up with cousins can benefit your child in so many ways including the following:

  • Growing up with cousins can create a bond unlike any other

Most cousins who grow up together will end up knowing each other throughout their lives. They’ll end up sharing a lot of memories, from their diaper days to their toddler years. From their goofy school days to their awkward teenage years. Like siblings, cousins see each other grow up and develop; they’re there from the beginning and stay by your child’s side as they grow.

  • They become your child’s first friends 

When your child grows up with their cousins, they immediately become your child’s first playmates and their first friends. They remain the easiest company to have all through your child’s life because they’re thrown together from an early age and get on like siblings. However, unlike siblings though, cousins are not stuck together every day so every time they get to see each other becomes a really special moment.

  • They understand your family dynamics
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No one understands family like family and your child’s cousins are the best set of individuals to really get the dynamic of how family get-togethers work. This allows them to really get what your children may be going through at home. For example, cousins are the best people to talk about how much you hate Aunt Thelma’s chicken soup but can’t wait to get a taste of Grandma’s chocolate cookies [3].

  • Older cousins can serve as role models and influences

No matter how much you try, there are a lot of things you may be unable to give your child. Cousins teach each other all sorts of things that add to their lives. Sometimes it’s the latest slangs in their playgrounds, new games they’re into or new crazes that’s making waves. For example, someone to braid your hair before a prom date or to teach you how to throw a football. Having their cousins around will allow them to learn some things which will make their life much easier.

  • They’ll always be there for your child

Cousins are family and will always be there for your child other no matter what happens. When your child and their cousins are close friends, you can rest well knowing that they have made solid companions and firm friends for life. Even if they go months without seeing each other, whenever they do it’s like no time has passed at all. It’s never awkward as cousins just pick up where they left off.

No matter the type of family you have or come from, having cousins around you who love and care for you will be a big boost to your life. Cousins are the spices of life and I’m happy I got to grow up with mine. What about you?

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Stacy Robertson
Writer and researcher
Stacy Robertson is a writer and researcher with a B.A and an M.A in English Studies, and a strong will to literally touch all areas of life especially health by her own chosen form of artistic expression. Stacy has authored several articles on a range of different topics concerning nutrition plans and diet benefits for different kinds of people.

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