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5 - Mentoring

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2010

Robert M. Milardo
Affiliation:
University of Maine, Orono
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Summary

In this and the next two chapters, I explore the appearance of generativity in the relationships of aunts and uncles with nieces and nephews. Mentoring and intergenerational buffering are two primary requirements of generative cultures, and in this chapter, I examine how and when they emerge in families. Although generativity is often viewed as an individual attribute appearing in the midlife development of adults, as we shall see, it is enacted in a relational context involving parents, their children, and extended kin. Viewed in this way, mentoring and intergenerational buffering are akin to active thoroughfares with a good deal of bus traffic passing within and across generations, rather than individual conveyances passing along one-way avenues. To be sure, aunts and uncles actively mentor their nieces and nephews. In addition, they actively mentor parents and in this way further secure their importance in building generative family cultures. Then again, relationships are negotiated enterprises, even those involving older adults and younger children. Just as offspring can influence the development of their parents, nieces and nephews influence the development of their kinfolk, and they do so by actively mentoring their aunts and uncles. These generative thoroughfares have been largely unexplored to date, although they are clearly central and active.

Aunts and uncles actively mentor nieces and nephews in a variety of ways. They are valued for their support, counsel, and occasional criticism in matters of school and career, spirituality and moral values, and relations with parents, siblings, and other family members.

Type
Chapter
Information
The Forgotten Kin
Aunts and Uncles
, pp. 101 - 130
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2009

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  • Mentoring
  • Robert M. Milardo, University of Maine, Orono
  • Book: The Forgotten Kin
  • Online publication: 20 January 2010
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511657542.006
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  • Mentoring
  • Robert M. Milardo, University of Maine, Orono
  • Book: The Forgotten Kin
  • Online publication: 20 January 2010
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511657542.006
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Mentoring
  • Robert M. Milardo, University of Maine, Orono
  • Book: The Forgotten Kin
  • Online publication: 20 January 2010
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511657542.006
Available formats
×