Moving away from the joint family ….the after effects….

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We in India take pride in our old age traditions and culture of family bonding; joint family. Indian culture thrived on family bonding. Once a relationship was formed, it was for life. The strong family bonds continue even now, though the cities have seen a shift from joint to nuclear families.

The change….

Children are generally moving out of parental home for reasons of profession and also to a large extent, after marriage, in search of independence. Cases of separation/ divorce are on the increase. The elders, somehow, blame it on the increasing effect of western culture, but that may not be the main reason at all.

The joint families had a major advantage of emotional, physical and financial support available within the family. Whenever there was a problem the entire family used to revolve around to help resolve the issue. The work load was equitably distributed between all family members. However, as the families grew bigger the requirements increased, specially of the space, living and work space both. Thus, the need to move to alternate places emerged. Job opportunities was a major reason of young adults moving base from rural to urban centers.

Role of mothers….

Though the males apparently were the patriarchs in the family but in reality, the families revolved around the mothers, the ladies. It is the ladies who took care of the family, brought up children, helped maintained family bonding. Was, emotional support and love the only reasons for the family bonding, the reason for marriage to last till death interfered? Well, at the face of it, appeared so. However, in reality the reasons may be beyond emotions. In Indian families, girls, since ages, have been brought up with a mindset that their main role in life is to take care of the family, bring up children. The ladies were supposed to stay in home and only men folk were supposed to go out and work.

The changing status of girls….

Girls were generally groomed to be homely, not actually empowered to have a professional career. Rather the girls were discouraged from pursuing a job. Situation in rural areas or towns have still not changed much where girls are groomed with the mindset that they require the support of the man to survive. They were married at the earliest possible age.

Since the girls were not empowered to face the world, to be independent, they were forced to accept whatever life came their way after marriage. Even if the lady was not happy with her life routine, after marriage, she generally endured it all because of the fear of survival, if marriage broke. The parents forced/ convinced the girls to make compromises/ adjust.

Now, the modern-day girls in cities and to some extent in small towns are educated and longing to have a professional career. They are sure of themselves and don’t feel the need of a man to survive. Even boys want to move out of the shadows of elders to grow on their own strength. An educated, empowered girl/ boy will not take nonsense from anyone. Even husbands don’t like to see their wives being humiliated by elders in the name of culture and traditions. These are the main reasons giving rise to nuclear families, forcing young adults to leave the parental homes.

There is a flip side to it; even small difference in opinion at times grow into major issues, as there are no elders around to help resolve the problems. When both, husband and wife are working, the child suffers to an extent. They are not able to give the child the attention he deserves.

Conclusion….

A change in mindset, which encourages independence under the same roof, is required, if family bonding have to foster. Parents have to change their outlook. Even the youngsters have to evolve and understand their responsibility towards parents and family as a whole.

“Profession may force a child to stay away from parents, but the emotions can’t be allowed to die

Developing and sustaining Relationships…

Developing and Sustaining Relationships…Part II

4 comments

  1. That is so true–“even small difference in opinion at times grow into major issues.” In a family, a small issue is no small issue. In a changing society, it is usually the powerless who suffer the most. I have seen the rapid change of Asian societies, which causes terrible tensions in families because the old system is dissolving while the new system is not establishing yet. It’s a huge upheaval. Try to make the best of it and love people as best as we can.

  2. I think when compromising was a mandate, it was done, but as people become more independent in terms of money, the path of negotiation was ruled out as a loss in the battle. So ego took over humility, and people thought we can live without each other. Because the misconception of mere survival as the main aim of togetherness was contemplated. Family as an institution taught us, respect for differences in opinions, compromise for cohesion, subduing the ego although it was present, and carefree living. As its influence recedes, our culture as a society also gets shaken to its roots.

    1. Thats what Institution of marriage was supposed to teach… Equality and responsibility… But unfortunately it started turning into a union of unequal thoughts …where men for varied reason got treated as the superior partner and thats what led to suppression of the wives in most houses …. thats what has led to the present situation… This will continue till both understand and learn to share the responsibility.
      Stay blessed

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