Man is a social animal. He is different from other animals because of family set up and marriage system. The important thing is, he is not an ISLAND!
In a society families are considered as Institutions which bind men and women together to lead a disciplined life. The family is based on marriages.
The traditional family was an extended family with parents and children lived under one roof.
In olden days marriages were arranged by the elders of the family and children lived with their parents even after marriage. All traditional families were considered as patriarch family headed by the oldest male of the family. While the males were blood related, the women include wives of the above mentioned males, their unmarried sisters or widowed sisters of the head of the family. All the decisions were taken by the males and even the money was pooled and all of them had joint property. They shared their happiness and sorrows together.
Those days, a woman was not allowed to go for a job and she could not pursue her studies after certain level. She was known as the “Grihini” that means, a caretaker of the house. Once they got married, women were sent to their husband’s house to live with his parents. Her main job was to take care of the children, and her parents-in-law, cooking and other house related work. The common bond between the members of the family was relationship and not the property. The social security and the social status provided by the family played an important role in a traditional family atmosphere. Children grew up under the utmost care and love of their grandparents. The grandparents passed on the family values to the young generation thro’ moral stories and by their own disciplined lives.
Religion also played an important role in the traditional family. All the families had their own way of worshipping God and each family had a family deity. Religious ceremonies were done in a strict and methodical way. Worshipping God was a part and parcel of their daily lives. Growing children were made to follow these things meticulously. Since everyone lived under one roof, children learned to share everything and the family’s welfare was the prime focus on the cards. There was a strong bond between the members of the traditional family. Trust and dependency were very much visible in a traditional family.
In contrast, the modern family is a small one with parents and their children – sometimes a single child! Both the parents are employed and are able to look after their children in a better way. The modern family is run by both parents unlike the traditional family.
Some historians believe that the shift from traditional family to modern family was caused by industrialization. The industrialization opened new venues for additional income for the family. The patriarch males changed their mind set and started sending their women out to fetch extra income. Once they got an employment, people started moving to the nearer place where their office or factory was located. So, this was the start of the modern family.
The concept of traditional family slowly started diminishing and modern family’s existence became prominent. Since there was no one to take care of the children, parents didn’t want many children. They planned their family small. The extended family members were moved away to the peripheral of the family circle. There were no more headaches like joint property.
Womenfolk realized that they too can earn as much as their better half. The additional income provided them with many luxuries and they enjoyed their new found freedom.
Unlike traditional family, parents feel they spend more time with their children. They are able to provide better education and better future for their children. Even the children understand their responsibility in an amicable way.
Though the modern parents don’t want to live with their parents, they are ready to support their parents when they become old. By doing this, they gain the advantage of someone being at home for their children in their absence. But the older generation should accept their dependency on the younger generation!
Even the recent researches reveal that children live with their grandparent(s) fare well in a social sphere both in school and away from school and home. Having grandparents at home has an advantage of the combination of both traditional and modern family. There is someone to give extra care!
To tell the truth grandparents bridge the gap between the children and their parents. The grandparents are very much concerned about their grand children. They are ready to spend their time with the children which the busy parents are not able to. They coordinate with the two generations and help weave a better relationship!