A parenting expert has claimed that aunties are just as important as mums when raising women, and even considers them crucial in the developmental process.
Steve Biddulph appeared on ABC’s Parental as Everything podcast, where he said that teenage girls today face unique pressures on a day-to-day basis, due to social media and constant sexualisation.
Because of this, the psychologist and author of Raising Girls and 10 Things Girls Need Most explained that young women need people to turn to other than their parents.
He said that an auntie could fulfil this role in a way that a mother never could, but added it doesn’t need to be a blood relative.
As reported on Tyla, Steve spoke to podcast host Maggie Dent and said: “One of the things that we know is that, for example, something every 12-year-old girl knows for sure is that she doesn’t wanna turn out like her mum.
“This is sad, I’m not taking any joy in this, but there are phases when they don’t wanna listen to you, but they still need lots of help.
“Aunties are a pillar of mental health for girls. It doesn’t have to be a blood relation, it’s just somebody around your mum’s age who loves you too.”
Steve went on to give advice, saying that anyone who knew a girl of around eight, be it a niece or a daughter of a friend, should invite the child round for sleepovers or lunch dates without their parents.
He said that this helps establish a bond and that the adult should ask meaningful questions about what the child wants to do with their life, and offer advice that they may not be able to get from their mums.
He added: “If you don’t provide this then girls will default to the peer group, and this is where social media gets out of control because the peer group is very ill-equipped to be supportive.”