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Parenting Expert Says Aunts Are Just As Important As Moms When Raising Young Girls

Most women can think of an aunt, whether they are a blood relative or a family friend, who positively affected their life growing up.

It turns out that there's a reason why so many women had this type of relationship with their aunts, and one parenting expert says that aunts can play a huge role in a young girl's development.

Anyone who was lucky enough to grow up with a loving and supportive aunt knows how special that relationship can be.

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It's kind of hard to describe, but the bond between an aunt and her niece is entirely unique.

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A parenting expert is shedding light on why this relationship is so special and how it can actually have huge benefits for young girls.

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According to psychologist and parenting expert Steve Biddulph, young girls need strong adult role models to thrive in life.

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Biddulph has published a number of highly-praised parenting books.

Steve Biddulph

Two of his recent books, Raising Girls and 10 Things Girls Need Most To Grow Up Strong And Free, specifically address issues faced by young girls. He wants parents to be prepared for the unique challenges faced by girls today.

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According to Biddulph, he's seen a troubling trend in recent years that targets young girls.

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Toxic messages from the media and the continued inequality faced by girls around the world has had negative effects on girls' mental health.

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Because of messages in the media that target girls' appearances and self-esteem, they are at risk of developing anxiety and mental health issues.

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Strong role models like moms and aunts help decrease this risk, but aunts play an especially important role.

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As girls get older, it's natural for them to stop going to their moms for advice.

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But they still need someone older to help guide them and that's where aunts come in, Biddulph explained.

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Having someone like an aunt they can turn to stops teens from seeking advice from their peers.

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Peers and friends are important too, but they lack the maturity and responsibility to help guide a young girl.

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It's also important to remember that aunts come in many forms.

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Aunts don't have to be blood relatives. Many people grew up with an aunt who was a close family friend. The saying "It takes a village" couldn't be truer in this case.

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If you are an aunt, don't underestimate the importance of building a relationship with your niece.

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What starts off as babysitting shifts, movie dates, and sleepovers could build a long-lasting foundation for a meaningful relationship.

Before you know it, this little girl will need advice when dealing with some tough decisions and she'll know she has someone trustworthy to turn to.

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