A nuclear family is a type of family structure that consists of two parents (a mother and a father) and their biological or adopted children living together in a single household. This family arrangement typically excludes extended family members such as grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins who do not reside in the same household. This is opposed to the single-parent family system where one parent and a child live together, the extended family or in a family with more than two parents. Basically, the nuclear family concentrates only on married couples who have a child or children.
There are differences with regards to nuclear family as many observers have their own definition. Some definitions states that only biological children who are full blooded siblings (same parent). Some other definitions consider adopted children, half or step siblings as part of the nuclear family, however, other definitions allow stepparents and the mix of stepchildren, children and adopted children in the family.
In other words, a nuclear family comprises of the husband, the wife, and their unmarried children. This is in the sense that as soon as the child or children marry, he or she leaves the parent’s house and go on to establish their own home with their partners.
A nuclear family is a free unit which is not under the control of the elders in the family, this is because as a result of the fact that the parents and children live apart, it gives room for minimum inter dependence between them. This means that a nuclear family is mostly independent and the modern family is the perfect example of a nuclear family.
Why People Practice Nuclear Family
1. A desire for an improved lifestyle: People practice the nuclear family system for a number of reasons and one of them is to improve their lifestyle. Having being exposed to other forms of family system like Extended family which accommodates every member of the family, limiting their financial stability and a better life most people are opting for a smaller family system which will require less spending. Also nuclear family provides them with the opportunity to make independent choices with their families.
2. The desire for freedom: Lots of nuclear family setting enjoy their freedom of living and being able to make decisions without the influence of others.
3. The desire to maintain harmony: Being with lots of people for a very long time, creates room for inevitable conflict, therefore people seek out nuclear family system in other to still maintain the peace amongst them.
Advantages (Merits) of a Nuclear Family
1. More opportunity and security: The small size; it is believed that people, function better when put in small sizes. A nuclear family setting is no different from this as they tend to function better when compared to the extended family. When it comes to security, it is awfully easy to protect the members of the nuclear family.
Protection encourages and empowers them to know each other and understand the other’ accomplice’s requirements and increase the amount of support being received or provided. In an advanced form of nuclear family, the couple get more comfortable in communicating their assumptions for each other, also they do participate in better opportunities in concluding their decisions and choices together with their children.
2. Share liabilities and association: Nuclear family makes it possible for everyone to have their individual path and also share in the liabilities and in the association. The parents and child or children always get involved in activities which would bring them together, and with this, it makes the small size to come in handy.
Parents are permitted to accept shared liabilities in their family. The act of doing things together like exercising, finishing task together, being engaged in family matters is a wonderful way to share liabilities and association.
3. Financial stability of the wife: When there is a less number of people providing for the family, other members of the family most of the time thrives to make themselves financially stable in other to support the family. The ladies in a nuclear family do have a skill or a job most of the time, therefore she becomes financially available for the needs of her family. By so doing, she becomes a major contributor in the family, and a key leader by addressing the major necessities of the family, she provides with regards to the affairs of the family and the children.
However, when the husband is the bread winner and decides the wife shouldn’t work, it does not make the wife less of a woman, wife or mother in the family.
4. Home is the Family: The feeling of coming home to your family is unexplainable, you get to be happy as you are heading home having realized the fact that there is peace at your destination. You also get to appreciate the fact that there are fewer people with less noise pollution, with the few people at home, most of them are bound to obey you, this gives you peace of mind.
For instance, on an average working day which has been so tedious, there is nothing more relaxing like a pleasant time with you wife or husband and your children, just relaxing your troubles away.
5. They are there for one another: In a nuclear family, it is to their knowledge that all they have is each other and no one is going to come out of their comfort zone to take care of their family affairs therefore they put in all the effort to make sure they are there for themselves.
Examples are when: the parent turns up on the child’s PTA meeting; the father and mother provides the needs of the family; when the other spouse cannot handle the affairs of the family the other provides support because all they have is each other.
Disadvantages (Demerits) of a Nuclear Family
1. Sensations of forlornness and disconnection: Bringing up a family is a very difficult task especially when both parents are working to make ends meet. In a family where both parents are workaholics and do not take out any time to plan out their day and children, this would lead to lots of disadvantages as there are no family member there to be with them, play with them or help them out.
With time, the children may feel forlon. Some children would settle or resort to spending lots of their time on the television and their phones to make up for the lack of parental attention. However, when there are other members of the family the children would have human company and guidance who would watch the kids and keep them in place.
2. Trouble in settling clashes: The nuclear family is not made up of saints they have their fuss regardless of the fact that it was a small unit and intently sewed bunch. When such situations arises, it would be difficult to settle the problem as there are no intercession and direction from the seniors, elders, or individual guardians and it makes the matter linger.
Issues between husband and wife could be easily resolved when there are elders there to intervene as young people are prone to making harsh decision and when they are not resolved, it could lead to dangers of family connections and steady homes.
3. Economic Disadvantage: When each member of the family go their separate ways, the properties especially land will be divided into many groups amongst the children making it loose its flavor and worth.
However, when the land is managed by the entire family, it retains its value and the cost of working on the land is reduced as everyone is contributing.
4. Agency to develop bad qualities in inmates: As a single unit, nuclear family is free of elderly control thereby making the children turnout bad by possessing qualities like theft, etc. they also end up not being acquainted with other members of the family.
5. Insecure for the Old, Widowed and Divorce: In the nuclear family system the widowed, old and the divorcee’s wellbeing are mostly neglected by their children. Owing to the fact that the children leave the family upon getting married and starting their own lives the parents are left alone. No one in the family is left to take care of them.
This leaves them with an emotional desire wanting to be fulfilled, leaving them feeling physically and psychologically insecure. Regardless of the neglect these people surfer, the children are educationally, socially and emotionally maladjusted. There is a chance of the family breaking where the couples are in a fight.
No doubt, every form of family structure is special on its own, you could have a nuclear family that would be accommodating to every members of the family. There is also a joint family system which neglects its duties and turns out worse. Therefore it is not cast in stone which form of family system is better than the other, so just do what works for you.