The extended family (grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles) is less important now than it was in the past.
With the process of urbanization, the concept of family has been blurred than ever before. Different from that in the past when the whole family lived in a big house, more and more people move to cities for better opportunities and that in turn separates family members geographically. Then there are someone arguing that extended family members who do not live with us are less important now. I cannot quite agree with that kind of point.
Family members, whether they are one's parents or grandparents or uncles, are all important parts of your life. The centralization of cities seems to have located people nearer than before, however, the high pace of modern life and great stress of work life have virtually made people further away from each other. People are more indifferent and care little about those surrounding them. It is not surprising that having lived so many years in an apartment you do not even know who your neighbor is. The indifference between one another leads to distrust among people, not to mention getting familiar with each other. Luckily, a family is a place where you can gain real love no matter who you are or what you have achieved. It is like a harbor where you can throw all your anxieties of modern life out and really focus on fostering true love between each other. In this sense, a family is becoming more important as a place to hold our stress as well as our emotional feelings.
Also, extended family members may have a greater influence on our life than our parents. To be able to lead a comfortable life in a city, the topmost concern of a family is to earn enough money to maintain a living. Thus it is very likely that both of our parents have to work day and night, not having time to look after us or care about our studies at all. At this time, it is the extended family members that can help us out. Our grandparents who are usually already retired from their work have little time to care about our upbringing, so most kids in the cities spent most their childhood life with their grandparents. As childhood life is a time when a person begins to learn about the outside world and to form one’s own personality, our grandparents play a critical role in what we will become in the future. Thus the influence of grandparents is undoubtedly greater than parents.
To conclude, an extended family is actually playing a greater role in everyone’s life than even before, because modern living has rendered people indifferent to each other and we need someone who we trust to share our feelings. Also an extended family is an essential part of everyone’s growing up. So extended family relationship should be well cherished rather than abandoned.