Parenting Tips For Moms

Advantages and disadvantages of a joint family system for parents

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  • January 21, 2021
  • MKB Team

From the early Vedic times, the concept of a joint family has existed
in India. But today, the numbers of joint families have rapidly
diminished, especially in the urban centres. But if one visits some of
the rural villages of India, still untouched by westernized concepts,
one sees the existence of joint families with a Basil or Tulsi plant in
their respective yards. If that sounds like a family drama from 90’s
Bollywood, this scenario surprisingly still holds good in the villages.
But what are the pros and cons of living in a joint family, especially
for parents whose main objective is to raise their children well? Why
is it that most parents today prefer a nuclear family to raise their
kids? Could privacy be the sole reason or are there other factors at
play? Let’s find out.

Disadvantages of Living in a Joint Family:


 Compromise of privacy: Privacy is an important part of
everyone’s lives and lack of privacy is an issue with most people
living in a joint family. Almost everyone knows everything
about the other family members and constant interference in
day to day matters can be irksome.


 Lack of democracy: Usually one member or a few members
take all the decisions regarding family matters. Seeking a green
signal for a trivial matter is not preferred by most.

 Burden of financial responsibility: The family members who are
well off have to bear the brunt of the family expenses while the
idlers get a free meal. Just like communism, this concept
doesn’t work.

 Interference in Parenting: It might be frustrating for parents if
they cannot have the final say in taking the decisions as far as
their child is concerned. A mother might resent other family
members constantly preaching her as to how to raise her child
for example. It’s also a common fact that grandparents spoil
the kids in a joint family and pamper them to death. Parents
find it difficult to discipline the kid/s who become manipulative.
The clash of different schools of thought and varying parental
ideologies also creates fission in the joint families.

 Common kitchen problems: A common kitchen can be quite
problematic as everyone has different tastes when it comes to
food and it is impossible to cater to the demands and taste
buds of each family member. If someone wants to have meat
or fish in a vegetarian kitchen for example, the act is
impossible. Someone with an independent spirit finds it difficult to live in a joint
family as the disadvantages are aplenty. But then, so are the
advantages. Here are the pros.

Advantages of Living in a Joint Family:


 Companionship: The best part is that a child is never lonely in a
joint gamily setup. Not only does s/he have cousins who double
up as friends but also family members who take care of needs
while parents are away. This kind of support system is
invaluable in today’s world as it takes a village to raise a child,
as the old saying goes. Cousins are first friends and friends for
life as well!


 The Art of Sharing: There is a stark difference between a kid
raised in a joint family and one raised in a nuclear family. But naturally, the former is more social and has a habit of sharing having had many influencers. In a joint family, a child with a chocolate will naturally share it with his peers as the focus
there is more on ‘we’ and less on ‘me’. But most often, a child in a nuclear family lacks this art of sharing as there’s no one to share in the first place.


 Personality Shaper: Surrounded by elders develops a sense of
respect and shapes the personality of a growing child. Just like
many good teachers, many good elders are instrumental in
shaping the development of a child. The child receives an
education beyond books which is so essential. To sum up, the solution would be to have the best of both worlds. If a child can be exposed to the positives of both the nuclear family system as well as the joint family system, it would lead to overall
development with both independence and family values remaining
intact. Instead of isolating a child, exposing him/her to the best of
both worlds will surely bring about that happiness that seems elusive
in today’s world.

Did you like reading this article? Which system do you think works
better? Write and let us know. Till then, happy parenting!

Q&A:
You ask and we answer!

What are the advantages of joint family?
Pallavi Jain, Mumbai.
The advantages of living in a joint family can be summarized as
follows:
Unconditional love. – Having more than your usually 3-4 members in
a household gives you the extra dose of unconditional love and
support.
Family Vacations- Vacations become noisier and more enjoyable.
Sharing of responsibilities- Sharing is caring after all.
Finances – Going Dutch is a simpler way to explain it.
Security – Apart from financial security, emotional security is also
guaranteed.
Emergencies – Help is always on hand in case of any emergencies.
Relationships – Relationships between family members are
strengthened.

Why is joint family bad for children?
Sheetal Shah, Ahmedabad.
No system is bad or good, Sheetal. We just have to figure out which
system works best for us acco0ding to the circumstances that
surround us and why. But the lack of together time/privacy seems to be the main culprit for the disintegration of the joint family in modern times. If a particular family member is called up frequently to shoulder responsibilities, it can also lead to disharmony in married life.

What are the disadvantages of a small family?
Pragya Narang, New Delhi.
The major disadvantage is that the child does not learn to take
responsibility. Those with a single child are overprotective parents
who do not let the child explore. With no siblings, the child may face
loneliness, form bad habits and/or slip into depression.

Published by

MKB Team

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