Concept of joint family dates way back, Huge haweli with kids running in and out, dinner on a 20 seater table and loads of drama; this is the image drama serials have given us of joint families. There might be some similarities between the serials and real life joint families, rest assured there is no dramatic music in the background when your mother gets into an argument with your chachi.
As time is changing, people prefer to live in nuclear family that is with spouse and children. Living in a joint family has its own benefits and drawbacks. It depends on the head of the family to decide what kind of life they want to give to their family.
Advantages of Living in a Joint Family
- You get better chance of interacting with your extended family and get to know them better. It also gives a better base to the individual. It makes children more social and they learn to deal with different kinds of people. Children never feel neglected and the parents can rely on grand parents to look after them if needed.
- A joint family gives an environment where an individual’s ethics and thought process form a good shape. Grandparents play a special role in teaching children ground rules about how to treat others. Children growing under grand-parents’ supervision have a balanced set of mind with regard to behavior such as obedience,sacrifice, selflessness,sympathy and other important values.
- children grow up to be emotionally stronger and mature than children growing in nuclear families. They also tend to build a stronger conscience. They have a sense of unity and affection.
- In a nuclear family the head of the family is alone responsible for finance. In a joint family there is more economical support. There is more efficient use of resources and burden is divided amongst a few people rather than just one person. They might also stand by each other in times of crisis.
- Females can divide household chores according to skills and abilities of each. This also makes house hold efficient and a better check can be kept on any maids or servants working in the house.
Disadvantages of Living in a Joint Family
- Grandparents usually tend to follow old customs and expect children to follow them too. This leads to lack of modernization in the family and they tend to think less practically. They believe in cultural bonds too strongly which makes them less liberal and their children have problems coping with the modern world outside the society.
- In a joint family set up, there is no sense of privacy and it is difficult to have a personal life without involvement of others.
- Living in a joint family can also be a little emotionally exhausting as there are more chances of getting involved into senseless arguments based on misunderstanding and jealousy amongst family members.
Living in a joint family has its own benefits. If you need a peaceful life with no interference of others in your life and want to take full responsibility of bringing up your children and looking after your family then nuclear family is the right choice for you. However, if you are more of a family person enjoy company most of the time and do not mind sharing your stuff then you probably will not face issues living with your extended family.