This article is a part of The Complete Guide to Dealing with your Mother-in-law – Chapter Twelve
In India, it has always been a tradition to live in large joint families with all the members sharing blood relations and living under the same roof. However, with the adoption of westernization, these traditions are changing and people prefer to live in small or independent nuclear families. The very essence of being in a joint family is being lost day by day.
Advantages of living in a joint family:
The interaction and bonding in a joint family is more, as compared to a nuclear one and it gives a better base to the individual. Grandparents also act as quasi-parents in the family, where the child can never feel neglected, even in the absence of parents.
Morals and values
An individual’s mind, thought process, constitution and ethics become well-shaped in a joint family. There can be nothing wiser than the old people in the family who guide the children. Such children are well balanced in terms of obedience, sympathy, sacrifice, selflessness and other important values. Truly grandparents are very important.
Children brought up in joint families are more mature, emotionally stronger with a powerful conscience, as there are many people from whom they can learn. There is a feeling of unity and affection in people, living in joint families.
The economic conditions in a joint family are far more stable and supportive than that of a nuclear family. There is efficient use of resources in a joint family and reduces the burden on a single person, due to cost sharing. They also stand by each other in the times of monetary crisis.
A large number of people in a family reduces the workload on one person by task sharing, according to the individual skill and ability.
Disadvantages of living in a joint family:
It is commonly seen in a joint family that a lot of importance is given to the traditional and religious practices and there is a lack of modernization and practicality, amongst them. These families believe strongly in cultural bonds with less liberal thoughts.
Spoiling of kids
Although joint families fulfill the sense of emotional security, there is a risk of turning the children into brats by fulfilling their every need.
Many people believe that a joint family set-up is much more interfering as far as their privacy is concerned and thus they tend to part and live in small nuclear families.
Although there are some cons too, they can be resolved by bridging the generation gap to eliminate orthodox attitude. There should be cooperation and understanding between every member to avoid any sort of conflict. Problems of interference and spoiling of kids should be ignored if you want to maintain peace and harmony in the family. Otherwise, you can think of moving out.