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Family

The 'weirdest family role' is disappearing in the U.S. Here's the change no one mentions.

Family trees are rapidly changing.

cousins, relationships, birthrate

Four cousins hanging out in the yard.

The birth rate in the U.S. has steadily declined since the Great Recession. Between 2007 and 2023, it has decreased by nearly 23%. In 1950, the average American woman had 3 children. Now, she has only 1.6, which is drastically lower than the replacement rate of 2.1.

The dropping birthrate has many worried that it will upend government programs because there won’t be enough young people to work and pay taxes to support older people on Social Security and Medicare.

Faith Hill from The Atlantic recently illustrated another problem with the declining birthrate in the U.S. and Europe that no one talks about: the decline of cousins.

“If everyone hypothetically went from having five kids to having four kids, that would mean one less sibling for each child,” Hill wrote, quoting demographer Sha Jiang. “But it would yield a much bigger decrease in first cousins: Instead of a child having four aunts or uncles who each have five kids—20 cousins—they would have three aunts or uncles who each have four kids, for a total of 12.”


Further, only about 6% of adult cousins live in the same U.S. census tract. The rest are about 237 miles apart.

TikToker Miriam Tinney, who curates interesting stories she finds online, shared the news in a video that has over 3.7 million views.

What do you think? 

@miriam_tinny

What do you think? #family #cousins #relationships #siblings #theatlantic

Psychologists believe cousins play an essential role in families because even though they are relations, the emotional bonds with them may not be as tight. "Cousins, extended family, allow psychological distance that immediate family cannot," relationship therapist Larry Shushansky told The Chicago Tribune. "Relationships with cousins afford a certain space, a certain independence, that allows us to have different kinds of experiences with them.”

"They can be a source of balance … affording the closeness and common bond that exists in families, as well as the psychological distance that is one step removed from the dependency that causes anxiety and conflict within immediate [family members],” Shushansky continued.

This unique position in the family allows cousins to take on various roles. Your cousin can be a mentor, friend, acquaintance, partner in crime at family functions or someone who helps you understand your extended family.

A cousin may not be the family member who lends you a kidney, but they can be the person who helps you mend fences with a sibling or allows you to cut loose at a family gathering because neither of you fears the other's judgment.

"Without cousins, who will my kids go smoke with on the cousin walk at Thanksgiving?" Rebeccaversonx commented on Tinny's video. "I’m ethnic sooooooo cousins are basically another set of siblings," Viv added.

"I don't think they surveyed POC because cousins in non-white families are usually super close," Britty added.

Given that cousins can have a significant role in our lives, Hill is right to lament the loss of the important, if not necessarily vital, relationship.

“A cousin-sparse future, then, could be a greater loss than people might recognize,” Hill wrote. “It might also make the relationship that much more important: With fewer of them around, cousins may need to depend on one another even more. Families are shrinking—but that doesn’t mean they need to come apart.”

Doorbell camera catches boy's rant about mom's chicken

When you're a kid you rarely have a lot of say in what you get to eat for dinner. The adult in your house is the one that gets to decide and you have to eat whatever they put on your plate. But one little boy is simply tired of eating chicken and he doesn't care who knows it. Well, he cares if his mom knows.

Lacy Marie uploaded a video from her doorbell camera to TikTok her son. The little boy is caught on camera taking the trash out venting about always having to eat chicken. He rants all the way to the trash can, being sure to get it out of his system before he makes it back into the house.

"Chicken. No more chicken. Tell me you like, we have chicken every day. Eat this, eat that, eat more chicken, keep eating it," the 10-year-old complains. "It's healthy for you. Like, we get it. We have chicken every day."

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Photo from Tedx Talk on YouTube.

He checks on your Facebook page.

Losing a loved one is easily the worst moment you'll face in your life. But it can also affect the doctors who have to break it to a patient's friends and family. Louis M. Profeta MD, an Emergency Physician at St. Vincent Emergency Physicians in Indianapolis, Indiana, recently took to LinkedIn to share the reason he looks at a patient's Facebook page before telling their parents they've passed.

The post, titled "I'll Look at Your Facebook Profile Before I Tell Your Mother You're Dead," has attracted thousands of likes and comments.

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This is the best mother-daughter chat about the tampon aisle ever. Period.

A hilarious conversation about "the vagina zone" turned into an important message about patriarchy from mother to daughter.

A mother and daughter discuss period products.


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Sure they play around like most teens and parents do, but in between the joking and stealing of desserts, they're incredibly open and honest with each other. This is key, especially since Melinda is a single parent and thus is the designated teacher of "the ways of the world."

But, wow, she is a champ at doing just that in the chillest way possible. Of course, it helps having an incredibly self-aware daughter who has grown up knowing she can be super real with her mom.

Case in point, this truly epic text exchange took place over the weekend while Bella was hunting for tampons at the store.

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27-year-old who died of cancer left behind final advice that left the internet in tears

"Don't feel pressured to do what other people might think is a fulfilling life. You might want a mediocre life and that is so OK."

Photo courtesy of Remembering Holly Butcher/Facebook used with permission.

Holly Butcher left behind her best life advice before she passed away at 27.

The world said goodbye to Holly Butcher, a 27-year-old woman from Grafton, Australia.

Butcher had been battling Ewing's sarcoma, a rare bone cancer that predominantly affects young people. In a statement posted on Butcher's memorialized Facebook account, her brother, Dean, and partner, Luke, confirmed the heartbreaking news to friends.

"It is with great sadness that we announce Holly's passing in the early hours of this morning," they wrote on Jan. 4, 2018. "After enduring so much, it was finally time for her to say goodbye to us all. The end was short and peaceful; she looked serene when we kissed her forehead and said our final farewells. As you would expect, Holly prepared a short message for you all, which will be posted above."

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