It’s a common thing for families in cities to be small. Usually, the members consist of the parents, kids and sometimes, the grandparents. The busy city life cannot accommodate a lot of family, since it is fast paced.
We have often longed for a joint family, where you live in a big house, surrounded by your relatives. It is a much used idea in films and television shows, since a bugger provides more dynamic and comic relief room.
But what exactly is the difference between the two types of families? Is one better than the other? What are the advantages and disadvantages of a small family?
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A brief Premise of Small Family
A small family is a small unit of members related to each other. It is referred to as a ‘nuclear’ family. The concept of nuclear families was formed when the size of families started to reduce due to the limited room in cities.
It is difficult to obtain bungalows, cottages etc where a bigger family could be accommodated. Housing in cities mostly include flats, duplexes etc. Anything else is extremely expensive and the common man cannot afford it.
It becomes difficult to accommodate a family of more than 5 or 6 in a flat. So the sizes of families began to reduce while getting accustomed to the city life. Nowadays, families are scattered, across the city, state etc. People move from their native lands to cities looking for better job opportunities and a better way of life.
Basically the term nuclear family has been dated back to the 1940’s, by Oxford. So it can be said that it is relatively new. A nuclear family by definition consists of a married couple and their kids. If you think about it, a person in his lifetime is a part of two nuclear families: one in which he or she are kids and one in which they are parents.
Small Family Advantages and limitations
Nuclear families are relatively small compared to an extended family. They are easy to manage and control. The expenses are low; therefore there is comparatively less pressure on the bread earners. The family members are closer to each other, since it’s just them in the house.
The parents can keep a better eye in their kids, and raise them on their own terms. Also, since they have a small family to feed, it leaves more income for recreation activities and other luxuries.
An extended family can be a blessing or a boon, depending on your family outlook. It is true that, there are fewer chances of kids to feel lonely, because there are other kids present in their family like their cousins etc.
The parents too, may be able to relax a little since there are other people who can keep an eye on kids while they’re away. But, it ultimately depends on the outlook of the family. If the family is a progressive one, then there is little to no problem.
But for more traditional families, raising children has their own rules, even if the parents are against them. In extended families, parents and kids are forced to abide by the law of the family, decided by elders.
There is also a constant pressure of your every move being judged by the family members. In a nuclear family, you live in your own terms. There is no one to tell you what to do, but, there is also no one to correct you if you do something wrong.
Thus, like every coin had two sides, the type of family life you choose, also tends to have their advantages and disadvantages.
Most of us are part of a nuclear family, since our parents and even their parents, might have moved to metropolitan areas looking for a better way of life. It is only when we visit our ancestral homes that we get a taste of an extended family, and we sometimes crave that feeling.
The feeling of constantly having people around, never being alone, always having someone to talk to. We all have cousins who are like best friends and even closer to us then our own siblings.
While most of us may still be students, paving our way towards a career, we soon will be the head of our own families. So, there is a lot that you can learn by observing your parents and how they manage life!