The debate over a joint family v/s a nuclear family is a never-ending one and there is probably no right or wrong to it. The saying ‘Whatever floats your boat’ goes perfectly when it comes to deciding whether to raise your toddler in a lively & supportive joint family or a peaceful & independent nuclear family. But when you come to see it, despite the odds, even a joint family can provide you the much-needed space and privacy and even a nuclear family can be as engaging and supportive as the former. It all comes down to the company we live in and the people we surround ourselves with. Which or do you think is better – raising a child in a joint or nuclear family?
Going by the 21st-century scenario, families are no longer related to our blood ties and relations; families can spring from the rarest of connections and go deeper than the blood relations. It then becomes quintessential to judge both kinds of families on certain life attributes and then decide what defines us the best! After all, your family should be your hideaway and not something you hide ‘away’ from.
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Commercial Bollywood movies have painted such a rosy picture of joint families with images of compassionate cousins, uncles and aunts that it becomes pretty hard resisting the thought of them. To a point, these movies are actually honest in showcasing joint families as the learning ground for various interpersonal skills such as cooperation, patience, endurance and sharing.
Research has shown that children brought up in a lively and engaging joint family tend to be more socially adaptive and responsive in the later years of the life compared to their contemporaries brought up in isolated nuclear families. Thus, joint families have an obvious advantage when it comes to learning interpersonal skills.
Joint families are an impeccable support system for children, both financially and emotionally. In an ideal sense, it’s a healthy structure for sharing one’s triumphs and failures. After all, if we have a loving and supporting family to return to each day, life becomes pretty worth it. Rearing your little one in a happy nest like that saves time, divides work and creates a spectrum of awareness and endless possibilities.
Children learn to respect different relationships and can take on a number of values and morals by observing each generation. After all, nothing teaches children more than observational learning. Speaking of this, joint families are any day better than nuclear families.
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All the illusions of a rosy happy joint family, as shown in movies, shackle to dust when they meet the light of reality. Joint families, especially in Indian sub-context, tend to be autocratic in nature with the head of the family usually laying down the rules. This can seriously hamper the evolution of your child and he might seem to lose his self-identity in complying with the rules of the family.
Such families often experience a constant conflict between traditional ideologies and modern convictions. If you’re one of those parents who wish to give your child an unrestricted spiritual and career growth, then steer clear of the joint family system. Nuclear families allow a rather uninhibited and unrestricted self-expression of the child. They run on the adage, “If you love someone, let them be!”
For some of us, independence equals loneliness, but for the rest of us, independence is a way of life, it’s the ability to wake up each day and steer your life’s wheel with you in the driver’s seat. A child being raised up in a nuclear family tends to be more affirmative and independent than a child who has his needs met even before they arise. Such children learn to take charge of their destiny and become aware of their career choices pretty early in life.
However, there is a very thin line between being independent and being lonely. If you’re a working parent and tend to stay away from home quite often, then make sure that your child spends time with his relatives and siblings. You might want to rethink your decision of living in a nuclear family if you spend days away from your little one.
If you and your family tend to have a different set of morals by which a child is to be brought up, you might want to consider raising your child in a nuclear family. With changing times and western influences, parents have all the rights to raise their little one as you see fit, without welcoming unsolicited opinions from family members.
If you were to bring up your child in a joint family, they’re bound to acquire habits or actions displayed by your parents, aunts or any extended relations. As long as these habits are the ones you want to imbibe in your child, then a joint family shouldn’t be a problem. But if that’s not the case, run in the opposite direction!
Raising a child in a joint or nuclear family comes with its own set of positives and negatives. Which family you choose, depends completely upon your circumstances and your personal preferences. There is no right or wrong. Some individuals prefer to stay in a joint family while other like a nuclear family. Please share your views of raising a child in a joint or nuclear family.
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