In a world that is becoming increasingly concerned with their own, families are getting smaller and smaller. Those days of big joint families supporting and standing by each other in thick and thin are long passe. Now is the time for everything compact, convenient and allowing of your indulgences. Thus stems the importance of nuclear families, one that resides in only the couple and their children. Whether it be the many advantages of being in a nuclear family or the comfort of being in one, people are increasingly opting for smaller families. But like every other thing that is rosy on one side and dark on the other, even nuclear families aren’t exclusive convenience. A nuclear family is extremely independent but also excessively private. Here’s a roundup of the major advantages of nuclear family and some possible disadvantages-
ADVANTAGES OF NUCLEAR FAMILY
Being in a nuclear family allows for more privacy for each member of the house. Be it between partners or between siblings or the parent- child relationship, every one has a direct and open relation with each other. Because there are fewer person in the house, there isn’t many people to mediate between each other even if you would want them to.
Sharing moments between long time partners is all the more important to keep the romance alive and help the relationship stay strong and stable. Nuclear families provide ample scope for couples to enjoy their own moments of privacy so that there isn’t much room for miscommunication.
Children also interact one-on-one with their parents which helps in fostering trust and helps build a healthy relationship, free of secrecy. The sibling bond is also can develop more freely within the confines of a nuclear family. With less people, siblings grow up confiding things in each other and holding truths sacred between them so that they are bound in a lifelong allegiance of honesty, love, commitment and healthy dependency.
With lesser beings in- house, there obviously is lesser interference in each other’s lives. Before taking any decision you need only seek the advice of people who are most important to you and for whom your decision will be most binding. This helps in fostering a sense of individuality, removed from repression and imposed dictums, and rested rather in an own perspective of the self.
Children find it easier to assert their freedom, given that they can convince their parents for most things specifically when there isn’t any other ‘supreme adult’ poking a nose too many. Even the elders find it more convenient to pursue their passions and hobbies outside of work when they know they aren’t answerable to anyone from the extended family. Also because the family size is small and responsibilities are divided and assigned, elders can also seek more time in pursuing their hobbies in a nuclear family.
All round personality growth
Among the many advantages of nuclear family is the fact that a small, compact household also augurs well for the development of an individual’s personality. Holistic growth of any human is what bodes well for their existence, allowing them to assert their own free will and live life on their terms in a way that they are an asset to society.
Specifically for children who are in their growing stage both mentally and physically, it’s important that they are brought up in such a way that gives them confidence to put forth their own opinions and give flight to their dreams and aspirations. Because a nuclear family is so small that it remains inevitably and unbiasedly centered around each single individual of the household, each person learns to appreciate their worth while also acknowledging the importance of others.
However personality development isn’t only about every person knowing their rights and entitlements as an individual. It is also about growing up being aware of responsibilities and acquiring the many life skills required to shoulder them at a later age in life. As children in nuclear families learn to be independent while valuing notions of privacy and mutual respect, they become more accustomed also from doing their own chores from a rather young age in life. This indeed is the platform that teaches kids to be ready for the outer world when they finally venture out into it. Even elders become more responsible to carry out the duties meant of them. In many cases, even individuals who had been earlier very dependent on others and unsure about themselves acquire the confidence to go out and face the outer world because their responsibilities demand such from them.
What makes a nuclear family most preferred in the times of today is that the financial liabilities are lessened and more defined. With both the spouses working in most cases, it becomes easier to shoulder financial responsibilities of a single child or at most, a couple of them. This allows not just for financial security but also a life blessed with all things that money can buy unlike those families that struggle to make ends meet.
Also, when couple consciously make it a point to reside as nuclear families, they most often have goals and plans charted out so that running the family becomes a smooth task. This means that they make extensive calculations as to how they can afford a better life and take adequate care of their children, as well as put apart specific amounts a s savings so that they have a handy reserve to fall back on in case of any emergency. Also because nuclear individuals do not have to always fend for extended families or relatives, they don’t have to spin their heads out on unmanageable expenses. With a greater sense of responsibility, managing finances to ensure stability for the family comes easy over a period of time.
Obviously even the grounds for conflict get narrowed in case of a nuclear family which is also one of its prime advantages. Because couples generally don’t live with in- laws and/ or relatives, there tends to be lesser arguments arising out of misunderstandings. Usually it is just the husband and wife who fight and that too rarely because they are to pressed with their own responsibilities and finances as well as doing things they like in leisure to leave little time and space for marital discord.
The parents know it is vital to ensure that there exists peace and harmony in the house and within themselves so that their children learn from the only persons they have to look up to. And because people are less, the interdependency among them is relatively more. Also because of greater privacy, couples tend to get a lot more scope to sort out differences amicably as well as exclusively between themselves. This not only ensures that conflicts are few and far between but also leads to families that are closely knit and are more stable, secure and happy.
However eloquent we might be waxing about living a life free of interferences and uncalled for opinions and such, living the nuclear life does have its disadvantages.
An important factor that overrides the advantages of a nuclear family is the loneliness of a life less interfered. Specifically when the kids get married and leave the house to start their own nuclear family, the then old and sometimes ailing parents would be left unattended. Because of ties with relatives and others of the extended family not being too strong because of lesser interactions and acquaintances earlier, it is also unlikely that couples in nuclear families will have anyone to support them when they age.
The problem becomes more intensified when it’s a single survivor that gets old while the spouse might have passed away or separated. Of course they still have a host of activities to keep themselves engaged as they had been modern, independent individuals all their life. But they no longer can cherish the warmth of a familial bond or relish the bliss of their favorite people around them. That’s a curse, considering that couples had happily given up extended families to foster for their children at one point of time yet have no one by their side when they need them the most.
But it isn’t only the elders or the parents who are at the receiving end of the loneliness that nuclear existences perpetuate. In case the parents pass away young, the children have no one to nurture and protect them. This is particularly painful because all through their lives the children had not known anyone except their parents. Even when it’s one spouse that passes away, the survivor struggles to come to terms with the death or to suddenly shoulder all responsibilities on their own. Intensified feelings of desolate loneliness creeps in slowly but steadily, which is the reason why depression is on the rise among new gen folks.
As working parents, the young kids have to fend for themselves at a very young stage in life. While it sure prepares the young child for the future, there also arises the issue of too much independence which can lead the kids to be rebellious and obstinate at one point. Also, they remain all by themselves in the day, without the supervision of any elder which makes them particularly prone to casualties. The parent- child bond also seeks to go disrupted because it is love and care in the formative years more than any material requirement that is what any child primely craves for from their parents. And this is quite a vicious process. Because it is unlikely that the children who did not receive adequate attention in his childhood would build up enough abilities to parent their kids effectively.
People in nuclear families get accustomed to being on their own so much that they gradually get less and less social over time. From preferring social media for interactions because everyone lives far away and are too busy in their own lives, nuclear families create a society increasing engaged only with their own person. Hardly is there any concern for others or any attempt to engaged freely with others because multiple responsibilities are already draining each one of us out.
Not only people lose out on connections, they also miss out the family traditions and culture that celebratory gatherings and occasional rendezvous foster. Age old legacies get lost in time as no one is too enthusiastic to care enough to reach out to the extended families to ensure that the lineage lives on. Affection is rare and only facial rather than emotional. No strings attached is the kind of relationship that nuclear families heartily engage in with people outside the four walls of their apartment only to return to a home where independence reigns so supreme that connection tends to get missed out.
Nuclear families are more exerting for the parents because they have to continuously shuffle between work and home, devoting adequate time to both the kids and their development as well as to their own career and passions. Whether it be building up financial security or overall stability or even ensuring the holistic development and upbringing of the children, there’s a lot to lose sleep over.
Even children are subjected to considerable exertions because they are expected to live up to every expectation and fancy and there isn’t any one to turn to when they fail and the parents are upset with them. They grow up antisocial and so devoted to themselves that they fail to make sense of a world outside their own. In absence of any sibling, the single child needs to do all for his/ her parents or the family even when he has legit limitations restricting him. Not only this puts too much pressure on the young mind but also makes him more reluctant to involve himself with even his parents. Often a times, children tend to view such demands as even harassment further aligning themselves in life with their own world view that does not care for anything and anyone else.