Parenting in a joint family

Contributed by : Dr Ajab Primuswala, Ravina Sewani   
Parenting in a joint family

A joint family is a large family where the grand-parents, father, mother, uncle, aunt and their children live unitedly under one roof.

In a joint family, every member takes their turn to nurture and nourish the child. Joint families are a boon to working parents or otherwise too. Children get to learn to respond and interact with others, adapt to changes and people. Raising a child in joint family also becomes a bit easier on the mother because of the whole support system. Like every coin has two sides, bringing up a child in joint family also has its own set of pros and cons.

  • A joint family has too many authoritative figures which usually can give contradicting signals to a child. In a joint family, same message should come from all the adults in the family. If jumping on the bed is not allowed, then the same message should come from both parents and grandparents.
  • It Is given that the parenting styles of grandparents and parents is going to differ. And when the differences arise, children are quick to catch those. So whenever you feel conflicts arising, it is better to sit down and talk about the differences when the child is NOT around. Set ground rules about raising your child.
  • In a joint family, a child learns good family values from the elder family members.
  • Children in a joint family are less hooked on to gadgets as everyone in the family is ready to cater to their needs, be it emotional, social, physical, or in academics.
  • Making decisions for a child might get conflicting in the joint families as the grandparents tend to impose their thoughts and opinions. Sure, at times the help and insights are great but at the end of the day it is solely the right of parents to decide the best for their child.

In the end, it is up to parents to weigh the pros and cons of raising a child in joint and nuclear families and then decide what’s best for their child(ren).

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