Would you believe twenty-five people living in the same house? It’s difficult but quite exciting. Living in a joint family teaches us many things, especially in a country like India, where a child is strongly connected to the family from his/her birth. We respect a nuclear family too, which might be as strong as the joint family. But joint families have other joys that one can’t find in a nuclear family.
Growing up in a joint family with rituals and celebrating festivals together has its different happiness. Listening to your parent’s stories from grandparents, sacrificing chocolates for your younger cousin, and ordering a large size pizza. Doesn’t it sound exciting? Of course, it is. But as the universe says there are pros and cons to everything. So let’s discuss some joys and troubles of growing up in a joint family.
India has always been known for its rich culture, various languages, and the style of living and growing in a joint family. A joint family doesn’t mean to live with a group of people but to live with those who are tied to you with your blood relations. Even today many cities haven’t touched the roots of westernization and are still living with 20-25 people in the same house. And it seems as if you are watching “Hum Aapke Hain Kaun.”(Okay, no matter your choice of movie, but it does represent a lot about living in large families).
Growing Up In A Joint Family
Probably the best experience of growing up in a joint family is that you receive unconditional love from your grandparents. You are never alone. You have chacha, chachi, mama, mami,(uncles and aunts) nieces, and nephews around you at all times. You can share your problems with everyone and get different solutions and perspectives to everything. A joint family gives you a secure feeling even when your parents are not with you. Joint family teaches us that sharing is caring. Sharing chocolate, pizza, gadgets, and even clothes teaches us how united we are. These small things help us to grow up as caring people.
Joint families stimulate the habit of sharing and appreciation among children. All the members of a joint family living under one ceiling and from one single household. Joint families are considered to be the strong types of families. Living in a joint family makes us sure that not only economic but social responsibilities are divided into every adult member of the family. This encourages that not all responsibilities are impediments to an individual but are divided among family members.
Children growing in a joint family makes one more adjustable than living in a nuclear family. They are more accommodative and understanding and know the importance of being together. Growing in a joint family means sharing giggles, successes, difficulties, and cries among everyone.
Living in a joint family divides every responsibility and handles all troubles. If you are late for your work or you are stuck somewhere everyone is going to stand by you. Living with everyone makes us understand how to deal with others outside because we learn to live among so many personalitiestypes. There are crises in everyone’s life, but dealing with it with the support of an entire village, if we may call it that way, is a far sweeter experience. It also provides psychological and emotional security to us.
Living with grandparents teaches us norms, values, mutual rights, and even worship. The most important thing in a joint family is common worship. Each family member is involved in various parts of religious rites, ceremonies, and sacrifices and is also handed down from generation to generation. Festivities are on an all-new level every time!
Trust me, growing in a joint family is a blessing. You get everything you want, are pampered! When we do something devilish/mischievous, our parents are going to penalize us, but if we have grandparents beside us no one dares to scold us. You become such a spoiled brat.
The most loving thing is having dinner with the whole family. The dining table is considered a discussion point where you tell the other family members about your day. It is a place where you learn how to communicate. There are certain topics for children that they might need advice or support. And parents should let children choose their own seats. If they fight over a favorite seat, they will learn how to settle the dispute peacefully.
A grandchild is a blessing. A gift from heaven above. An adorable little angel to cherish and to love. A handful of happiness and a heart full of love. This is what our grandparents feel when their grandchildren are born. The littlest feet make the biggest footprints in our grandparent’s hearts. Grandparents’ children are their rainbows but their grandchildren are their pot of gold.
So as we discussed, the universe gives everything with pros and cons. So let’s go through the advantages and disadvantages of growing in a joint family.
The Joys Of Growing In A Joint Family
Growing in a joint family is like believing in having fun with everyone, cherishing family get-togethers, and listening to everyone’s life stories. It encourages you to complete your big dreams and they help us in any way they can. We can share values and memories and keep the tradition alive. The main advantage of growing in a joint family is everyone teaches things that no one else can and will make us learn the roots and wings of success. Success doesn’t mean to be wealthy but to be a good, mature, and understanding human being.
Joint family functions are based on joint responsibilities. If the elder brother, for example, is hospitalized, it is the responsibility of his younger brothers to bear the medical expenses and running around. Similarly, if the father incurs a loan for the marriage of his daughter, it is the responsibility of the family to repay the loan. So basically, “My money is my money, but it is also our money.”
In a joint family, nobody goes through a financial burden. Everyone contributes something from their pocket in regular as well as tough times. No problem remains there without being solved. In the case of someone losing their job, having financial security from your relatives is worthwhile and is another aspect that states the importance of living in a joint family rather than in a nuclear one.
The main element for women in a joint family is big teamwork, especially when it comes to household chores like cooking or cleaning. They make sure that every work is done on time or before time. As a result no family member ever feels stressed about work. They also support each other professionally and work together on family businesses.
The most beneficial point for working parents is needing someone trustworthy to be around their children. With chacha’s or chachi or grandparents around, who care for children and make them eat properly, parents are less worried. Thus, they get some privacy to socialize or catch up with each other on a private dinner.
All children have the right to get a proportional share of love, care, direction, and education from parents and grandparents. Also, they can get good discipline while talking to someone. As all the members live together they will try to build faith among them. They should show some equality. And living together with family during festivals creates so much entertainment and pleasure. Diwali, Holi, etc. people enjoy every juncture of their life.
Troubles Of A Joint Family
As there are many members in the family there is a lack of privacy. If a special family member is called up repeatedly to shoulder responsibilities, it can lead to a clash in married life. Also, in a joint household, a couple always has to be aware of being watched and heard when they want to exchange a compliment or a movement or engage in a conversation or an argument.
In couples, especially a woman might struggle with finding her comfort zone outside her room. She might not have a say in many aspects like deciding on food choices, painting the house or even, wearing something comfortable for her and walking out of her room. At times, her ideas may also be rejected by other family members.
The most challenging thing is parenting. Many adults with varying styles may bombard parents with direction on what to do and what not. There might be interference in almost everything related to childcare and upbringing, right from the use of diapers to food to schooling. For a new mom, such intrusions can prove to be even more confusing and unsettling.
Contributions towards running the house and how the money should be spent is a major question in joint households. While everyone is expected to share money towards running the house, it is the head of the family who regulates the budgets and decides on how the money will be spent. Sometimes, the judgments taken by the head of the family may not go down well with some family members, leading to opposition and disagreement.
No family network in the world is perfect, and the same is true for a joint family. However, some families make the system work by demarcating responsibilities and duties, respecting each other, and being thoughtful and helpful. In the end, it boils down to what we want for ourselves and our children, and what is logical.
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