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The demise of alloparenting

8 February
Posted by:
Michael Grose

The art of sharing child-rearing between relatives, other adults and elder siblings is practised fitfully at best in  Australia, the US, UK and other anglocised countries.

Kids raising kids is commonly practised in many African countries where being the eldest frequently comes with the burden of caring for your younger brothers and sisters while your parents are invariably preoccupied putting bread on what’s often, a very meagre table.

Alloparenting was an in-built system for teaching kids to parent, as well as kick-starting a bunch of higher order skills such as patience, empathy and communication skills.

Alloparenting worked within the family hierarchy giving eldest children a role and responsibilities that came with being first or second born.

The relationship between older and younger children is different when alloparenting is practised. It's more meaningful as well as closer between older and younger siblings.

Did you experience alloparenting in your family? Let me know of your alloparenting experiences on Facebook.

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