Sh : (Just entering home, from school) Mom, I’ve something important to ask you.
Me : Yeah, out with it. (I face this question and answer session, every hour of every waking day).
Sh : Staying in a joint family is very difficult, na ???? So many fights happen, isnt it ?????
Me : 🙄 Who told you so, dear ??????
Sh : This Puja only. She cried so much today at school.
Me : Why ?????
Sh : She and her cousin had a big fight at home.
Me : Can you tell me the whole incident, please ?????
Sh : Puja was upset about something and was crying continuously. Her cousin, who is in college, was studying for his exams. Becos, Puja’s crying was irritating him, he asked her to stop crying. But she started crying more loudly. So, he just slapped her. Puja’s father got angry and hit Puja’s cousin. And Puja’s cousin shouted back at her father. This led to a big fight at home. So, Puja was telling everyone in the class, that it is very difficult to live in a joint family.
Me : Oh darling, you’ve just got the wrong idea about joint family, just by one incident in Puja’s house and also because it was handled wrongly. I want to make it very clear to you, that joint family is not a bad idea. It’s a joint effort by everyone in the family to stay put together during times of happiness and sadness. There is so much fun in living together with uncle, aunt, cousins, grandparents. The most important thing which one has to follow, is sharing and caring.
Sh : But Ma, what if the cousins fight with us ?????
Me : Fights will happen. Don’t you and your sister fight with each other ???? But after a few minutes, don’t you hug each other and carry on ?????? It’s exactly the same situation. You fight, you argue, but later you hug and kiss and make it up. Thats how relationships grow.
This conversation which happened yday, really saddened me. I was brought up in a joint family and absolutely enjoyed my whole childhood. There were good and bad moments, but never we thought of it as a difficult situation.
Living in nuclear families, today’s children have lost touch with the idea of sharing and adapting to other’s needs.
A single child is being provided with whatever he asks for, without any refusal by parents. So, when that child comes to face a situation where he needs to share his things with his friends or visiting cousins, he refuses blindly. Those kind of kids are obsessed with their things and they strongly object to anyone touching it, too.
Even families with two children, tend to buy things separately for both the children, as they are refusing to share their things among each other.
I find this very strange and disturbing.
I’ve made it a point, to buy only one set of those things, which can be shared and used by my daughters. The colour pencils, sketch pens, art set, scissors, fevicol, stapler – only one set is available in my home and it is a necessity that the girls share them. It belongs to both of them. If I don’t instill this thought of sharing in their minds, I feel that it’ll be difficult in later years, when they need to share their life with a partner.
Lets share and care about others in the family and lets help healthy relationships to grow. Nuclear family culture has become a way of life today. That does not certify that joint family culture is bad.
It is only joint families that help the relationships to grow better on solid foundation. Don’t you think so ??????