Joint Family vs Nuclear Family

by Amit Prabhu | Updated on 07 May 2024


A family is like a bowl of fruit salad, different in taste, color, looks, but together makes that amazing flavor which can make anyone forget their pain and take a sigh of relief. Family is the soil where our roots are held together and from where we grow as an individual, yet attached to the roots.

The importance of family in India

In India the family is the most important institution that has survived through the ages. India is a country that emphasizes family integrity, family loyalty, and family unity. The Indian family has been a dominant institution in the life of the individual and in the life of the community

Basically, there are two types of families - Joint family and nuclear family

Joint Family

Joint family is a type of extended family, which consists of parents, their children, spouses of the children and their offspring in one household. In India, the system of a joint family hails from the Vedic times and was popular even when the kings ruled this land.

Nuclear family

A nuclear family is one which consists of the husband wife and their unmarried children. Soon after marriage, the children leave their parental home and establish their separate household. Hence a nuclear family is an autonomous unit free from the control of the elders. Since there is physical distance between parents and their married children, there is minimum interdependence between them.

Joint Family

Going on since ages

India has always been known for its rich culture, various languages, and for the system of living in a joint family. A joint family does not only mean a group of people living together, it means that these people are tied with a blood relation and choose to live in a single household for many reasons – sometimes out of will and sometimes because of compulsion.

You Learn the Art of Sharing in Joint Family

If you have ever lived in a joint family, you must have experienced that sharing little joys and achievements with your family members makes them so happy. Even small achievements are rejoiced by one and all. And in the moments of sorrow, your family is always there to support you. A kid brought up with many people is obviously more social but he also has a habit of sharing. Living in a joint family inculcates the habit of sharing from childhood. Living in a joint family makes you focus on ‘we’ than on ‘me’.

Education Beyond Books

As the joint family has many elderly persons, you get a very good social education just by listening to the stories and the experiences. They help you become a more mature and in times of need these are the lessons one could use for making decisions about life. All in all, living in a joint family makes one understand that there is more to education than just school books.

Feeling of Togetherness in Joint Family

Joint family creates an emotional bond between two generations and it helps to keep the family united in all the situations. The tradition and culture are passed on to the coming generations so that they can take it forward. The proverb “United we stand, Divided we fall”, goes true in the joint family system.

Possibility of conflicts

As many people live together, the chances of conflicts over values are more. The problem of living in a joint family is even a small decision has to go through and get a green signal by every member of the family, particularly the head of the family. Thus, it in a way invades privacy.

Nuclear Family

A sense of freedom

Nuclear families have more freedom as compared to a joint family system. They do not have to worry about what the other members of the household may think. They can roam around freely and come back at any time without being answerable to anyone. Democracy exists in a nuclear family.

Development of Personality

Nuclear family plays an important role in the development of personality of individuals. Children are closer to the parents and can have more free and frank discussion about their problems with parents which helps for the better development of their personality. Adults in nuclear families will learn to be independent and will take responsibility to support their family. The same will be learned by kids, and they can easily sustain when they migrate to a new area to live on their own.

Less Quarrels

Nuclear families face fewer quarrels when compared to a joint family. Usually, they are the small quarrels between a husband and wife or a child and the parents. It’s easy to convince everyone in the family in case of taking decisions.

Problem Free Unit

There is no chance of in-laws’ conflict. Financial problem does not arise in nuclear family. Money can be saved for future achievement and to face uncertain crisis of family. All enjoy independent life and can be engaged in any economic activities to supplement family income. The will and desires of children are considered and are given proper weight.


Feeling of loneliness is one of important drawbacks in nuclear family. After completion of household task, the housewife becomes alone at home. At times when the other members of the family go for a vacation, the one left behind feels very alone. Even during the time of emergency, there is hardly anyone to look up to. Children may follow the same trend and may leave their parents once they start earning. This will cause loneliness in elderly parents.

Impact on children

When both parents are working, it will be much difficult to manage kids. Also, children may get attracted to bad habits and bad friends easily when compared with children that have a lot of support and guidance from grandparents, uncles and aunts.


Decreasing number of joint families

The main cause behind the deterioration of the joint family is due to the lack of opportunities and a increase in the towns and cities. People started migrating to the cities leaving their roots behind in the search of jobs. Even if someone wants to bring their family to the cities with them, it is very difficult.

Happiness matters

Being in any of these families will give you a different experience and life style, altogether. It doesn’t really matter to which family you belong to, what matters is how you respect the people elder to you and take care of the ones younger to you, because that’s what family values are. At the end of the day, a person should be happy going back home after having a long day at work.

Nuclear families being popularized

When compared to joint family, nuclear families many a times feel better. They provide a peace and calm environment at home as there are very few quarrels. Every individual after coming from work requires a peaceful atmosphere at home. As they say - “small family, happy family.” But at the same time, things like depression can be only fought by living with a healthy and happy group of people, which is not possible in nuclear families.

Irreplaceable concept of joint family

The ones who love staying together know the values and importance of having elderly people in the house. It is important, especially during tough times to make good decisions in life. The children that have been brought up in the joint families would most probably opt for continuing the culture, if the family us happy and has a healthy environment.

A family is that ‘umbrella’ whose value is not realized until the stormy clouds loom over you. But, when you look up with a hope that someone will come to your rescue, the first silent approaching steps will be of your family members. This is ‘FAMILY’. You grow up together, learn together; agree-disagree; fight and make-up, move on in your lives, but in the end, when you need someone, you know your siblings and your family will be right there.

Of course, living together is difficult because in a joint family you have to put someone else’s needs before yours, you have to compromise but all these situations make you a better person. There will be feuds, compromises, sacrifices, but at the end of the day, you will have a lot more people to depend on.

If you want to have a brief idea about how to present these points in front of a group, do watch the video-



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