Family, Festivals, India, Parenting

Joint family system vs Nuclear family system – which is better?

India is one of the few countries which has a unique family system – the ‘joint family system’. In a joint family system, it is not only the parents who stay with their grown children and their spouse but there may be other members of the family living together as well. There might be two or three generations of a single paternal or maternal lineage living together. There might be a single family head or a group of elderly family members under whose direction the family might thrive. In a joint family system – food, career, religious regulations, responsibilities, finances might all be shared.

The nuclear family came into existence under the Western influence in India. The nuclear family consists only of the mother, father and the children. Once the children grow up, they will embark on their own independent journey. In a nuclear family, the roles and responsibilities might be shared by the husband and wife.

While many think the joint family system is dead in India, it is not. The bigger cities might not see it as much but the joint family system still exists.

Advantages and disadvantages of a joint family system:

The advantages of a joint family system will definitely be the ability to live together with anybody. Caring and sharing might be the motto behind all joint family systems. Trying to live with one’s own family members might not be easy all the time. But the people in a joint family system have definitely mastered it! 🙂 Learning to let go of certain things, adjusting to each other’s personalities, sharing the financial responsibilities are some of the advantages of a joint family system.

Children will be moulded better by learning to live with everybody. Adults will also get the companionship that they will miss in their old age. There might also be more events and celebrations at home. Children might learn the authentic way to celebrate religious festivals rather than Google it! 🙂 In addition, child care and taking care of elderly will not be given to organisations and will be managed in the family only.

The disadvantages of a joint family system might be the same as the advantage of a joint family system(what an irony! :))

No one might be constantly be able to live with everybody all the time and one will feel like they need some “me” time and “alone time”! There is also a possibility that you might be able to take any independent decisions and act on it instantly.

Advantages and disadvantages of a nuclear family:

The advantages of a nuclear family might be:

  1. the ability to take independent decisions and act on it instantly without asking anybody
  2. Not having to manage too many personal relationships
  3. Just the freedom of doing things your own way
  4. Not having to listen to anybody! 🙂

The disadvantages of nuclear family might be a little more different than other reasons. In a nuclear family, in many instances, the financial responsibility might fall solely on the husband’s shoulders. Thus, running a family, managing the household and the children has to be done only by 2 people (which is not an easy task) The husband -wife duo have to run to other people(baby sitters, day care centres, maids, cooks) to smoothly run their life.

So, which is good for whom? That just depends on each person and each husband-wife duo. If they are not comfortable in a joint family setting, it is better they manage alone and brave it all.

However, man being a social animal and we from India loving family and celebration – it is quite a possibility that most Indians cannot live away and alone all the time! 🙂 and they will live in a bit of both families combined together…:)

This post is the seventh post for the BlogchatterHalfMarathon

Family, India, Parenting

Boy vs Girl – does it really matter?

In 2021, the birth of a boy or a girl should not matter. But it does even today. India being a highly patriarchal society, the birth of a boy is still welcomed and the birth of a girl still evokes confusing feelings(even in bigger cities)

Bringing up, boys and girls – is it any different?

We mostly hear the cliched expressions “girls are easier to bring up” or “boys are easier to bring up” – but having a son and daughter, I have not seen any differences in the easier vs harder part!! Both of them were hard in some ways when they were young and both of them have been easy in some ways too. It is just that their personalities were that way.

Some kids just might be having more energy and might feel like bouncing off the walls 🙂 🙂 (but that is just a “child” thing to do and nothing to do with being a “boy” or “girl”, is what I feel!! 🙂 )

Educating them: Should it be different?

Coming from a family with no brothers, I have never seen my parents having any confusing feelings about bringing us up. We were given all opportunities as any son in the world. We were encouraged to study and always do our best all through school and college ( and I don’t mind studying even today! :)) We did all the professional degree courses and were encouraged to never shy away from studying.

Again, having a son and daughter, I have never shied away from giving the same educational opportunities to both of them (and even if I remotely thought about such a thing, somebody would have definitely shredded me!! 🙂 :)) Ultimately, it is their interest and choice.

Other things: should girls or boys be given different treatment?

My parents never shied away from keeping us away from this or that. We were always encouraged to do anything and everything. I could drive, stay away from home and study in a hostel, learn to play all sports in the world, travel and go on long trips with school/college friends and more. Ultimately, my parents knew that life will happen and we cannot stay protected in a cocoon all the time.

But dangers do lurk everywhere and we were always taught the importance of safety and how to recognize dangers anywhere. So, it is always wise to make the kids understand the risks before giving them the wings to fly.

So, then, why is a boy child still welcomed? Is it

  1. Because they carry the family name forward? (Lucky, us from Tamil Nadu , we don’t have surnames at all, we just use husband’s name or father’s name as our last name :), so, technically, in Tamil Nadu – they should not worry when a girl is born 🙂 🙂 )

2. Is it because, the wealth and other property assets were originally only given to boys ?

That has been altered, now, I think.

3. Is it because originally, sons stayed back as a joint family system?

That also has changed in most families with time. Now anybody stays with parents, – whether it is the son or daughter.

4. Is it because, mostly the sons were the primary bread winners in their house?

Again, that too has changed with the passage of time. Now, girls are equally well educated and can earn well to support their parents or anybody else!

So, what else is the reason for the society to favor boys more than girls? (at least in big cities) Any thoughts?

Parenting

My ’99’ mark wonder boy!! :)

Many of you might recollect that I sat and waited and waited for the Xth grade marks to be declared for my son, two years ago..but this time, around the the CBSE twelfth grade results in India took us all by surprise by being declared suddenly!! (but it was a sweet surprise, though!! :)) In India we love the declaration of Xth grade and XIIth grade marks …everyone is excited and going bonkers, phones ringing incessantly – the excitement has been the same from the time I studied 12th grade!! :)(if at all, it has grown more!!)

The anticipation is always huge for my nerdy and geeky son, who is known to only “study”!! 🙂 (yes, he exists!!) The boy whom I have never taught anything since the age of 2,(yes – you saw that number correct!! :)) and who has never been to any form of tuition (rather he is capable of him taking tuitions!!) all through his school, finally got his 12th grade results yesterday.

While I always wonder what is “the” thing that must be shared on social media…I always end up sharing my son’s marks on social media through a blog post!! 🙂 So, here without any further procrastination – are his marks:

Computers – 99/100

Math -99/100

Physics- 99/100

Chem -95/100

English – 95/100

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With a total percentage of 97.4%!! (and ironically it is the same percentage as his Xth grade!!)

And where does he stand in school with this result? He is the SCHOOL TOPPER!! 🙂 YES, HE DID IT – even though the ‘1’ mark in each subject evaded him, we are all over the moon for him!! 🙂 🙂 We couldn’t have been more proud, happier and excited!!

To the boy, who entirely studied on his own and drew his own timetables and formed his own shortcuts and never gave his parents anything to worry about on the studying front, may HAPPINESS and SUCCESS always find you!! 🙂

To the teachers, students of Bala’s present school and his past school(s) – we are forever indebted in shaping our son’s life and always having trust and faith in him!! Thank you for making him smile and giving him a happy carefree environment to grow!!

 

 

 

 

 

Humor, Parenting

Do you like to ‘Floss’? :)

No – not the dental floss…but the dance ‘floss’… 🙂 If you are mother/parent to a a child who is 10 years old and up, chances are, you already know what I am talking about… 🙂 and have already practiced the moves and may even have perfected it… 🙂

If you have no idea what I am talking about, read on… ‘Floss’ is the latest dance that involves moving the hips and arms in opposite directions and one has to do it repetitively. It seems to be pretty viral, since kids around me are continuously flossing all the time! 🙂

floss.jpg

Where else can we see the ‘floss’?

Girls, boys – the ‘floss’ does not seem to be partial to any particular gender – they are all twirling away!! In addition to the kids constantly flossing around me, if you live in India – I am sure you have seen the Swiggy advertisement and the mom learning to floss through a dance video!

In addition, if you have watched the latest Indian movie ‘2.0’ – the Rajini starrer, the superstar flosses like a true and thorough professional!!:)

Parents, siblings and ‘flossing’!!  🙂

If kids are constantly shaking their hips and hands, can the rest of the family be far behind? 🙂 I thought this was a trend only in India with kids teaching their parents and siblings to floss, but I think it is a trend that is going all over the world. Either the parents are interested in learning to “floss” or the kids are eager to teach them…. either way, it looks like we are all twisting and twirling with the happy experience!! 🙂

I admit I was stunned to see the number of videos

“teaching parents how to floss” and how most of the time,

“parents don’t get it”!! 🙂

Children hold their parents arms, raise it up and say “go up like this” and move the arms in the opposite direction and say “go down like this” !! 🙂 They give more directions on the movement of hips and finally the children walk away with a sigh and say

“I think you are doing it all the wrong” or “You need to do it a bit slow”!! 🙂 (Karma coming back at us?! :)) or even better

“she is not getting it!!” 🙂

While we as parents are still trying to master the fine art of shaking the hips and arms… the almost teen in my house shakes herself away wondering why we take so much time to master it!  In the mean time, I wonder what the next fad will be and “how” or “if” I will master it!

So, what has your experience been? Have you learnt to floss successfully or is it embarrassing for your kids?! 🙂