Most families today are gradually changing from extended family to nuclear family. Nuclear family can be seen as a man and a woman, living together with their children, co-operating economically and maintaining a sexual relationship. This essay aims to discuss the disadvantages and advantages of nuclear family.
First of all, the support of other members is always guaranteed in an extended family. The number of members in an extended family always provides an extra lending hand. Thus whenever any family member needs assistance there is always someone to rely on. An instance of this could be in the village where everyone lives together and help each other. That is, if one member of the family needs school fees for his child, there are members in the family who will help out cut copra in order to get him the money needed for the school fees.
Secondly, it could be said that children in an extended family are most times taken of. This is because most extended families consist of three generations: grandparents, parents, and children. This would mean, in theory that four adults instead of two, help raise the children. It would mean more sharing, more communication, and less privacy. During the daytime when parents go out to work, children are always taken care of by grandparents or aunties. This gives a higher chance for children to learn other things apart from those things that are usually taught to them by their parents. And most times the children also stay with their cousin, which gives them a higher possibility to be able to socialize with others when they grow up.
All these are made possible because in an extended family everyone is expected to assist each other, everyone is expected to cooperate as well as share whatever is gathered. An instance would be the sharing of food. Whenever a person goes out fishing or hunting the food taken back home is cooked and shared to everyone. This applies in everything even sharing financial burdens, and they are expected to do so.
The last advantage of an extended family is that there are many exciting activities to indulge in. In the evenings the elders always play cards or tell jokes while the kids have fun playing games or listening to grannies telling custom stories. On weekends and other free days all kids and parents spend time together playing games or even just swimming in the rivers or sea. This creates a strong mutual bond between the family members and this is possible because they live together and had to find a way of living together in a peaceful environment.
However though there may be many advantages in an extended family, the ease of management, availability of privacy and effortlessness of problem solving and decision-making is pre-eminent in a nuclear family. In this century these qualities are what a typical family looks for.
The ease in the management of the family is the foremost advantage of a nuclear family. This can be found in most nuclear families because there are not many members in the family to manage or discipline. It is because of this that children are easily disciplined in a nuclear family. This again is made possible because the children are intended to listen to their parents and it is their duty to respect and obey them. Financially too, parents can easily support their family. If parents get income they would only worry about their children and not have to consider other relatives. Parents can therefore simply make plans on how they should run the family and actually follow what they plan.
Privacy too, which is the most important thing an individual family looks for, is abundant in a nuclear family. This includes quietness and peace in the home thus family members can do what they want and not get disturbed. This helps in the preservation of the family’s values and norms, as family members only practice what they know is right. For instance children may not be exposed to other unwanted cultures that may not be accepted by the parents. And this is most times achievable in a nuclear family.
Furthermore, there is a tendency to have fewer conflicts in a nuclear family. There are only few people and understanding of all is easily achieved. Whenever there is conflict, the tendency to solve them is quite easy. The problems that may occur would be easily solved within the family and does not have to have the intervention of others.
These are all possible because only two people make decisions. The decision making in the family is often made by the farther and mother rather than having to consult other people’s opinions. Thus decisions are quickly made and carried out in no time. For instance, if the father decides that they would buy a new car he would only consult his wife and kids and buys it the next day. He does not have to consult his other relatives. If he does he might get other ideas that may get in the way of his plan. It is said; in order for plans to be carried out successfully there should not be many obstacles. And in a nuclear family decisions are always easily made and plans almost immediately carried out.
It could therefore be concluded that though the advantages of an extended family may consist of the full support from family members, children mostly taken care of, cooperation and the availability of exciting activities for family members, the advantages of the nuclear family which include the ease of family management, privacy, less conflict and effortlessness of decision-making seem to outweigh them. Thus it could be inferred that the nuclear family is the best type of family in this century.