Nuclear versus joint family system

Does it take a village to raise children? Do those living in joint family systems in India have it easier than those living in a nuclear setup? As India is progressing economically and socially, more women are opting to work and be financially independent. It means that most couples move away from their parents’ houses for work. How does this impact their parenting? In this article, you will find the answers to all these questions by going through a list of advantages and disadvantages of raising children in a joint family setup versus raising them in a nuclear family setup.

Parenting in a joint family setup

A joint family setup consists of two parents and their children and extends to their children’s spouses and their grandchildren.

Advantages:

  • Children living with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins are mostly more sociable. Parents do not need to make much effort in teaching them how to socialize with elders and kids their age. Children living with cousins learn to share their toys and food more readily than those living alone.
  • Parents get time off from parenting as the grandparents babysit. Occasional dinner date plans are much easier to make when you have someone trustworthy to keep an eye on the kids behind.
  • Parents do not have to constantly entertain and be the sole listening ears to the kids because they can interact with other family members.
  • Mothers can get some help in chores such as making food or school pick-ups. It helps in maintaining their sanity, taking a little burden off their shoulders.
  • Children living with more people around learn to speak earlier than those who do not.
  • They can learn different skills from each family member. For example, helping an uncle fix the car or watching the grandmother knit might inspire children to develop healthy hobbies.

Disadvantages:

  • Everyone has an opinion on your parenting style. While modern mothers want to focus on raising more independent kids, grandparents tend to spoil the children with overindulgence.
  • In a joint family setup, a child has too many parental figures. If all of them are not on one page about the rules, morals, or values that they want to teach their child, the child may get confused.
  • Too many members in one house mean that there would be interference in the decisions that the parents want to make.
  • More people in a house might mean less room for the kids. Children living in joint families often get their rooms later than those living in nuclear setup.
  • Children living with multiple caregivers might find it hard to live alone once they grow up.

Parenting in a nuclear family setup

A nuclear family setup consists of a set of two parents and their children (one or more).

Advantages:

  • Parents can set their own rules and decide their parenting style without any interference from anyone else. They can be the sole decision-makers of what values and morals they want to instill in their children.
  • Children learn to be independent and self-sufficient. earlier in life. It comes in handy when they grow up and have to move away for further studies or work.
  • Personal boundaries are easier to maintain. They do not have to share their mental or personal space with their extended family.

Disadvantages:

  • Parents get less help in raising their children. It means less time to take breaks for rest.
  • Parents have to hire babysitters for help, who they might not trust as much as they can trust other family members. Not all parents can afford to hire help or send them to the daycare.
  • Parents feel burdened to take the children out every day to help them socialize with other kids their age. Children have a lot of energy and might need constant entertainment. The parents, however, might feel exhausted with the duties.
  • It is harder for new mothers to recover post giving birth as very few paternal leaves are granted in India. It means that mothers are usually on their own with the baby if they do not have other family members to rely on.