Notes to my younger self, Posts in English

10 Reasons why I loved growing up in a big family

Coming from a large family, I am often asked how I lived my childhood and people are sometimes surprised when I explain to them that it was pretty cool! So here are 10 advantages to being part of a large family.

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1. Always someone to play with

As a child it was impossible to be bored. I always had someone to play with and since each of my siblings has different tastes, I had the opportunity to play outside in the sandbox, in the skate park, or play video games and board games etc. What was also great was that you could form at least two teams. As they say, the more the merrier!

2. Cosy and fun atmosphere every day

You can imagine a house that is quiet only 7 hours a day when everyone is asleep. There was always something going on. Between birthdays, family dinners and evenings watching TV. We argued sometimes, and had lively debates and that’s what also contributed to the family atmosphere.

3. Always (a lot of) food

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One of the most important benefits when I think about it. Family dishes are still a tradition for us until now. We all gather around a large dish cooked by my mother and eat together. Moreover, snacking after school was a sacred ritual. It was far from being dietetic. At home, there were obviously plenty of cakes, candy, drinks and chips, well… as long as my brother hadn’t been there yet.

4. Always someone to rely on

Growing up, being able to count on my younger sister when the parents were away, was also beneficial. I still ask her for a lot of advice today. We all share our tips and tricks together with my siblings in a common conversation. Being the eldest, I am also the one who tries to pass on to them what I had to learn on my own so that things will be easier for them.

5. You’re not the first person to have tried something

Except when you’re the eldest. And then again, you can often refer to a member of your extended family such as a cousin, uncle or aunt. It is rare that no one can answer your questions. You will certainly find someone who has already gone through the same steps or questioning as you are and you should take advantage of it.

6. Lots of love

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Of course and that’s the main thing to me, lots of love from your parents and your siblings. There are not really any words that can define what unites a large family. There’s no need to tell that we love each other either. We go through the ups and downs together. When one is sad, the others feel it. We support each other in adversity and congratulate each other in victories. Their support is essential for me to move forward in life. My family gives me the strength I need when my motivation alone is no longer enough.

7. Friends for life

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From partners in crime to friends for life. As I said, we all have very different characters and have learned to accept each other that way. Travelling alone with my sisters for the first time and being even closer to my family since I have been living abroad is incredibly comforting. We tell each other almost everything and I know that I can always count on their sincere opinion.

8. Tons of anecdotes to tell

Another nice aspect of a big family’s life is that you have anecdotes and funny moments to talk about. As you grow older, this can be useful in certain circumstances. Well… we still try to avoid approaching the most embarrassing ones but in the end they are good memories and it’s funny.

9. Useful interpersonal skills

You learn values that we are taught very little at school: sharing, altruism, a sense of responsibility, listening and trusting others. You learn that you don’t always have to agree with someone to carry out a project together. You learn to appreciate the strengths and weaknesses of others. Whatever the life path you choose, these qualities set you apart and will be an asset later on.

10. Learning from the youngest and oldest

There is always a lesson you can learn from one of your family members, even as the eldest. That is why I ask the younger ones for their opinion as well. Indeed, the truth often comes out from children’s mouths. Adopting a humble posture and admitting that one can be wrong helps avoiding misfortune.

See, in the end, it’s pretty cool to be part of a big family! What about you? What are the most memorable memories of your childhood?

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