Sunday, October 14, 2012

Nuclear Family: Advantages and Disadvantages

A nuclear family is defined as a family unit consisting of a mother and father and their children. Generally, it is believed that it is the ideal arrangement to raise a family where the father is the one who provides the needs of the families with the income he receives from work, the one who serves as the family disciplinary model and the one who insures the protection of his family while, on the other hand, the mother is the one who is in-charge with the household.

In the past decades, nuclear families have gone through major changes in their structure caused by divorce leading to single-parent families, remarriages, and resulted in extended families. These changes and the problems which they may cause, especially for the children, has brought the advantages of nuclear families back into focus.

An article I found from the Buzzle called Advantages of the Traditional Nuclear Family talks about traditional nuclear family. In this article, Rita Putatunda provides us six (6) advantages that a person may have from living in a nuclear family. These advantages are as follows:
  • Stable Environment
  • Behavioral Stability
  • Sense of Consistency
  • Learning Skills
  • Sharing Responsibility
  • Physical and Emotional Support

Stable Environment
Based on how it was explained in the article, children who were nurtured by a family with the same parents are more likely to have stability in their relationship and emotional bonding while those children who grew up with a single parent lack emotional and dual support that both both parents can provide.

Behavioral Stability
Children are said to have a better sense of what is right and wrong especially when both of their parents are there to guide and look after them.

A Sense of Consistency 
The nuclear family can provide children with consistency. Children who have both stability and consistency in their lives are more likely to behave positively, do better in school and become more involved in community and extracurricular activities.

Learning Skills
Based on my understanding, children from a nuclear family are more trained lengthily in life skills especially when there are only few members in the family. The parents can concentrate more in lecturing or training their children without worrying about their relatives' problems. 

Sharing Responsibility
Based on the explanation in the article, having both parents in the family, they may share the responsibility of the upbringing of their children. For example, one parent may do other things or may take a rest while the other parent attends to the needs of their children. Children may also share in the responsibility like the older siblings taking care of their younger siblings while their parents are not at home for some businesses. They may also share in the responsibility of doing household chores.

Physical and Emotional Support
Nuclear families usually have more physical and emotional resources with which they can reinforce the whole. Through observing their parents and by following the examples set by them, children learn how to help in the building of the family. If there are more members in the family, children might be confuse of who should they follow or not.

If there are advantages, of course, disadvantages will always be present although these disadvantages are only few. As I was looking for disadvantages of a nuclear family, I came across with an article written by Michelle Blessings entitled Pros and Cons of a Nuclear family from LoveToKnow. This article also provides advantages and disadvantages in her article. These disadvantages are:
  • Isolation
  • Burnout
  • Less conflict resolution skills

Based on what I had read, although nuclear family provides closeness and lifelong bonds with the other members, a nuclear family may isolate members from their relatives. Since the members are accustomed living with their nuclear family, they might think that they don't need their relatives anymore and so they tend to isolate their selves from their relatives. This can break down the extended family unit, which can be beneficial in hard times.

Since we are just human, family members, particularly our mothers, may sometimes explode from attempting to meet the family needs by herself. Our mom is the one who prepares food, do the laundry, washes the dishes, look after us, and sometimes, they help our fathers to earn income in order to provide all our needs and wants.That leaves little time for pampering and nurturing their selves and their relationships with others. 

Less Conflict Resolution Skills
As it is explained in the article, if we think that nuclear family is advantageous in terms of having less conflict and stress, it also puts the family at a disadvantage. Nuclear families can begin to develop like-minded thinking, which will lead to fewer arguments within the family unit. However, it can increase the disagreements with extended family members. Their relatives can help them learn to effectively deal with conflicts and opinions other than their own.

Whether you choose to live or to raise your family to be a nuclear one, it doesn't necessary mean that it will provide your family success or eternal happiness. However, it can provide you basis in achieving those. By being aware of the possible disadvantages, you can always find some useful ways to lessen them. After all, no family is perfect. The important thing is to work together with your family at all times and it will ensure you the best possible results.