Joint family or nuclear family?

In today’s world, preferences of people are continuously changing. I had an opportunity to discuss the advantages of the joint family system with one of my friends. We both shared lots of valuable points with each other. I thought why not write it as an article for the day. But before I start, I would like to give a disclaimer that all the views shared in this article are my own perspectives. The joint family system is a very popular family system seen in most of the countries. There are also some countries where there is no concept of a joint family system. People have ended up becoming a nuclear family nowadays. Before I start with the topic, I would like to directly say my opinion and then go for an explanation. I always prefer a joint family over a nuclear family. By joint family I mean, living with parents, grandparents and lots of relatives in the same house. Most of the people will agree to what I’m saying. In today’s world, if husband and wife live together, it becomes a joint family because in most of the houses that itself is a big challenge. I’m from India and from a strong joint family background. In my own family, the joint family system was broken in my previous generation. As I see lots of advantages in the joint family system, I always want to bring back joint family system live again. If not in my generation, I hope the future generations will definitely understand the advantages it has and try to implement it.

Advantages in Joint family system

If we look at the advantages of the joint family system, we have to first see why there was such a system in our olden days. There were several reasons why Joint family system existed in olden days. Most of these reasons clearly say how strong it was and it was very effective. Just because we have practical difficulties today to live in a joint family system, we will not be able to say that the joint family system is an ineffective system. Let’s see the advantages of the Joint family system:

  • In the joint family system, there will always be lots of rooms for the fun element in the family.
  • Knowledge and experience sharing will be faster compared to that of self-learning or learn from other sources.
  • The interactions with the family members will be high which can lead to traditional learning which was transferred from one generation to another.
  • The joint family system acts as a moral support to every member of the family. If someone needs help, there will be lots of people available to provide a helping hand.
  • With a joint family system, the expense of the family can also be handled in an effective way compared to that of a nuclear family.
  • The kids in the family will get lots of opportunities to learn skills from the elders.
  • Though there will be options for self-learning for the kids, the experience sharing from the elders will be faster.
  • Adjustability and adaptability increases.
  • If there is a newborn kid in the family, it need not necessarily be the responsibility of the parents to take care of them. There will already be lots of babysitters and caretakers in the family who can do a better job than a paid babysitter.
  • The kids will get the opportunity to learn traditional and cultural aspects like respecting elders, treating women well, greeting strangers etc.

If we keep writing about the advantages, the list will go never ending. It is important that even the new generations should understand the importance of being a joint family than a nuclear family. Though we talk a lot about just advantages alone, there are also lots of disadvantages in the joint family system. But considering the weight of the advantages that we have in this system, the disadvantages will automatically fade away.

Why nuclear family is not a good idea?

In our modern world, we are having a serious time constraint. We are now becoming a more dependable living being, compared to the past. If we keep isolating ourselves from the importance of having a big family and living together, the values will really be lost and it will become a great challenge to again bring back the lost tradition. The culture is usually transferred from one generation to another generation with the help of a strong family. There are multiple reasons why a nuclear family system will be a failure. Though most of the advantages have been covered in the previous paragraphs, I will try to add a few points about why a nuclear family is not a good idea.

  • In the nuclear family system, the interaction between the family members is not very good. This will restrict the members of the family from learning and communicating effectively with each other.
  •  In a joint family, if kids need any help, they can approach other relatives or grandparents. In nuclear families, they will either be alone or dependent only on the parents.
  • In nuclear families, the kids end up growing with the guidance of babysitters. There is no guarantee that they will be able to learn good values from them.
  • The parents in the family will not have people/elders to guide them if there is a need. The friction between the relatives’ increases if they stay nuclear.
  • The resource utilization by the family will be higher compared to that of a joint family system. Some nuclear family may not be able to afford their expenses.
  • There will not be an opportunity to learn about adjustability and adaptability.
  • The kids usually learn lots of things from their grandparents. If they happen to meet their grandparents not frequently, they will be loosing their opportunity to learn good things from their grandparents.

Future of Joint family system

Humans are always social beings. Though we are born as an individual being from our mother’s womb, from the day one we are completely dependent on others in some way or the other to grow up and get the knowledge that we need to live this life. So it is in our nature to be dependable on others and live as a social being. This is just one perspective. If we look at the other animal species and bird species, not all the birds are animals live as a family. But most of them do. If we think in a practical way, the joint family system may not survive in the future as people are already moving towards the nuclear family system. Even kids are now looking forward to being alone from the childhood onwards. So from what we see, the future is going to be just a nuclear family system. The signs of it can be already seen in many countries.

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