Closely knit families are being replaced by nuclear families

Closely knit families are being replaced by nuclear families

Closely knit families are being replaced by nuclear families in the modern age.
Examine the causes and effects.

There was a time when India was known for its culture of joint families. It was believed that being brought up in a joint family helps individuals to incorporate values that are necessary to live in society like adaptability, adjustment, understanding etc. However, there seems to be a change in trend now. This is because preference of people is increasing towards nuclear families. Modern day parents feel that the bond between a child and his parents is stronger when they live in a nuclear family.

It is however true, that nuclear families give parents more time to concentrate on the development of their child. This helps to groom them properly. The conflicts of the two generations those of the parents and grandparents, which interfere with the child’s development, are minimum.

Both these types of families have their own set of positives and negatives. However, with the kind of lifestyle that exists today, nuclear families are more convenient to handle. This could also be one of the reasons why present generations want to settle in nuclear families.

Some parents argue that though children get lot of love and care in joint families, but the level of scrutiny is also higher on the child. For example, if the child makes a mistake, not only the parents but other family members may also haul on him or counsel him, this may make the child uncomfortable.

Also, chances of difference in opinion are much higher in joint families. Bigger the families, more difficult it becomes to maintain harmony among all the members. Hence, chances of stress are also higher in joint families.

But one cannot forget that the level of fun and enjoyment during celebrations like festivals, birthdays etc is much higher in joint families.

However, since both the parents are working these days in most of the middle class families, they feel that nuclear family system gives them more time for themselves, and their children. Some of the Sociologists even feel the same that nuclear families provides a lot of scope for parents to turn all their attention to the child.

Another set of sociologists however feel that nuclear families fail to teach children the importance of close knit relatives, strong family bonds and social norms.

This is a never ending debate. Hence, care should be taken while deciding the family type so that it involves consensus of all the members of the family and makes everyone happy and comfortable. Nuclear families should only divide the inconvenience of so many members staying together as a joint family without dividing the bond between the family members.
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  • RE: Closely knit families are being replaced by nuclear families -Teena Bhatia (09/13/14)
  • Nuclear Families are continuously rising in urban India. The households are small in size with three to four members. Most of the nuclear families don’t have any senior citizens in the family. The trend has deepened so much that now only 11% of the families have more than two children. There are several causes for the emergence of nuclear families which can be explained as:

    • The changed job structure: In the present world, it has become must for the youngsters to opt for geographical mobility to succeed in their career. Staying back at their native place with families doesn’t work any more. As a result, at the new place family shrinks to just husband wife and children.
    • Growth in services: Previously, it was the duty of mother and the rest of the family to take care of children. But now the time has changed. Both mother and father are working to run a family. Moreover, they don’t need extended family to look after children. There are several play schools to take care of children in proper way. Also, there is significant growth in other services like hospitals and education.
    • Difference in status: In a joint family, there are several issues related to household expenses. It is not necessary that all the siblings have the jobs of same status or salaries. In such a scenario, who earns less, have to adjust according to the superior member. Gradually, it results in family disputes leading to nuclear families.
    • Improved Lifestyle: The nuclear families allow the flexibility to live the life with complete freedom. They can follow any lifestyle they want to. Staying in a nuclear family suggests that there are fewer expenses as compared to extended family and so, the families can make complete use of their earnings in living a life of their choice.