The basis of the American household is the nuclear family. From the last century, the family system in the US centered on the nuclear family. Comprising of a father, mother, and children, the nuclear family is most common. Of course, with changing times the family system has undergone changes.
But by and large, the nuclear family continues to be prevalent. A 2020 Census statistic said that 40% of families in the US were nuclear. While this is the ideal arrangement, there are many reasons why this system is changing. It is important to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the nuclear family system.
Nuclear Family – the Advantages
1) Ensures stability and security
The biggest benefit of the nuclear family is that it ensures stability. Children staying with their parents is the ideal arrangement. Kids in nuclear families are assured of stability. Being in a family with both parents ensures the child is emotionally secure.
Apart from emotional security, it also ensures financial security. Kids in a family with both parents tend to be financially secure. Particularly, if both parents are earning, the kids can be assured of a comfortable future.
2) Improved opportunities
A family with parents and children will work together for each other’s welfare. It allows them to support each other. They can understand each other’s needs and work together to fulfil their individual goals. It is beneficial for children who can make a plan for the future. They can get support from their family members to achieve their future goals.
3) Helps in ensuring behavioral successes
The behavior of children depends on stability at home and proper caregiving. The big benefit of a nuclear family is that children get love and affection from parents. It helps shape their behavior. They exhibit positive behavioral traits and are more disciplined. They tend to do well in both school, sports, and other activities.
The likelihood of such children indulging in drugs or other such illicit activities is less. Families spend time together, attend gatherings, and go on holidays together. The bonding has a positive impact on the development of the children. All these help the child exhibit successful behavior that benefits them in the long run.
4) Easy to run the household
The nuclear family will find it easy to run the household. Running a household requires shared responsibilities. All family members have to participate and share responsibilities. Cooperation between family members ensures all members of the family benefit. The household can be run in an organized way.
5) Health and educational benefits
Nuclear families have health benefits for children. They are less likely to face abuse. Their physical and emotional health will be improved thanks to the strong relationship between family members. The children have educational benefits since the stability allows them to get a good education, which benefits them for the future.
Nuclear Family – the Disadvantages
1) Excludes the extended family
A family is not only father, mother, and children. It also includes the grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins. A nuclear family excludes all these. It restricts the opportunity of bonding with extended family members. When the family is in difficulty, they may not have anyone for support.
2) Slight imbalance can be problematic
The entire balance of the nuclear family depends on the relationship between the husband and wife. If there are conflicts or imbalance, it can cause problems. Children cannot manage the situation. There may be no extended family to support. It can lead to regular conflicts and may even lead to the dissolution of the marriage. It can be catastrophic for the children.
3) More pressure on parents
A nuclear family puts pressure on parents to have a good relationship. They may be forced to adjust with each other even if they don’t get along. There is pressure on them to support the children and provide them with emotional and financial security.
4) Realities are different
While the nuclear family is popular, its prevalence is coming down. There are situations where single parents have to take care of children. This can be because of divorce or because of the parents not being married. Also, the prevalence of LGBTQIA+ rights has changed the very definition of families. The reality is changing.
To Sum up
The nuclear family system has both pros and cons. While nuclear families are reducing in number due to changing times, it is still the most common family system. While the number of nuclear families may reduce, it is unlikely that it will go out of existence. Nuclear families will continue as long as their benefits outweigh their disadvantages.