A Cliched but Important Discussion about nuclear family.
Nuclear families are not new, and neither is the discussion about them. If we believe the historians, nuclear families go way back to the 1300s. Since then, families have evolved, societies have changed, and some have stuck to extended families’ traditional family system.
The concept of nuclear families has stayed strong through many changes and is the typical type found in urban areas. Has it survived the test of time because it is the best way to live? While some people will nod in affirmation, many do not agree. So, let’s see what makes nuclear families a popular concept. Let’s talk about their pros and cons and try to understand why the world is so divided about them.
Pros of a Nuclear Family
Nuclear families are small and hence have smaller bills, they can live in a smaller house and can make do with one car. It is obvious that their expenses are limited as compared to a joint family. Hence, they experience better financial stability. Parents in nuclear families can offer a decent life to their children with ample opportunities to learn new things, travel and choose the college of their choice.
Emotional stability is hard to find when a household has multiple authorities. A nuclear family has only authorities who can reach mutual conclusions with ease and provide the children with a stable and productive environment. Kids who grow up in nuclear families tend to have clear thought processes and are not easily confused. They also understand the demarcation between right and wrong and understand the importance of matured communication inside the four walls. It’s safe to say that the kids who grow up in nuclear families grow up to be well-rounded adults.
Responsible and Independent Individuals
In nuclear families, children have to learn to do things on their own. More so, if both the parents are working. This makes children and even parents independent individuals who can also multi-task. Children from nuclear families learn to fix their breakfast, get ready for school and even take public transport before children in joint families who have multiple adults to help them. The same applies to parents. Nuclear family parents learn to juggle work and home efficiently and become expert multi-taskers with time.
Peace and Harmony
It is easier to achieve peace and harmony in a nuclear family as compared to a joint family. This is because, in a nuclear family, you have to agree with a smaller number of people and it is easy to come to a conclusion with two or three minds. In a joint family, even the smallest of situations tend to get complicated because of the number of people involved in the decision-making process. It is also true that discussions and arguments are lighter in a nuclear as compared to a joint family where people of different generations (opinions) stay together.
Cons of a Nuclear Family
Exclusion of Extended Family
The concept of the nuclear family puts all the focus on the immediate relatives like parents and siblings. In this arrangement, extended family such as grandparents, uncles and aunts and cousins get left out. While this may not be a problem in good times, you need your extended family in bad times. Children from nuclear families often fail to understand the family structure, and hence, they grow up feeling lonely and isolated during times of distress.
All the demands of raising children can get overwhelming for the parents. Parents in nuclear families often burnout because of their responsibilities. Mothers are more likely to experience the burn out because they are often the primary caregivers and have to run around in circles to take care of everyone’s needs.
Nuclear families that have the support of their extended family or friends tend to manage parenting better. They have people to help with babysitting, driving children to sports events and to take up other crucial responsibilities.
Limited Support System
It takes a village to raise a child. Have you heard this statement? Everyone who has kids will agree that this statement is absolutely true. You need people in your circle to help you with parenting on a daily basis. This village becomes even more important in emergency situations such as at a time of illness or accident. But unfortunately, nuclear families have a limited or a non-existent support system. While you might not miss the crowd during a holiday, you will definitely miss a shoulder in tough times.
Children Become Socially Inadept
When children grow up with just parents, they tend to become closed and introverts. They do not prefer to socialize much and often want to be alone. This is to say that children in nuclear families may grow up to dislike crowded setups, may seek solitude and may fail to participate and do well in social gatherings. Nuclear family children may also grow with a ‘do it yourself’ attitude, which can be both a blessing and a curse. They won’t know how to perform tasks in collaboration with others and will, of course, not grow up with a habit of sharing. Team play might be tough for them.
Like all things in our life, there are both pros and cons of a nuclear family. It is entirely up to you to choose a side and decide which benefits you want to reap. Nuclear families are the modern families, and they have succeeded for several decades now. Are they the best way to live? Yes, at least they are the best for urban setups where spaces are limited, and commodities are expensive.