Aunts are just as important as mams when raising young women

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Many of us are lucky enough to have an aunt who feels more like a second mum. She’s the one that always brings you on shopping trips, makes the best cup of tea and always has French Fancies stowed away in the cupboard for emergencies.

We’d be lost without our aunties and a new study has proven that they are just as important as mums when raising little women.

Some of us are even lucky enough to be an aunt. We can be the person our niece turns to in her time of need and that is the biggest honour.

Parenting expert, Steve Biddulph spoke about the vital bond between nieces and their aunties on an episode of ABC’s Parental As Everything podcast.

He explained that having positive female figures, like an aunt, can help girls develop. Young women are facing far more societal pressures than ever before. They’re constantly scrutinised for everything from what they wear, who they date and how they speak. People feel the need to comment on the length of skirts, the number of boyfriends they’ve had and how they look “fuller in the face lately.”

Having an aunt to turn to during these trying times helps to alleviate the never-ending stress women face today. She is your shoulder to cry on, your source of wisdom and the woman who always has the kettle ready for a cup of tea.

Mr Biddulph explained: “They don't want to listen to you but they still need someone to listen to.”

Your relationship with your mum is tested when you’re a young woman so having another female to reach out to helps more than we realise. Girls may feel more comfortable talking to their aunt about mental health, sex, relationships or body image issues.

Mr Biddulph said the best thing a mum can do is make that bond a priority in her daughter’s younger years. This means by the time those complicated teen years and turbulent twenties come around, she will have a strong relationship with her aunt.

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