Living in a joint family system is a common norm in Pakistani society. While it can be praised by some, in most cases it is believed to be a difficult way of living. Still, we can’t rule out its existence. When people live together misunderstandings are inevitable. Question lies in how to address them. Underlined are the points that can help in maintaining a good environment in a joint family system.
In general, the family is one of the basic units of societies and takes care of the various needs of people. It is also one of the basic sources of providing care to all of its members. Because of this fact elderly persons of the house occupy respectful position in Asian culture.
Our society generally accepts living together as a family. Living in a joint family system can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience, but it also requires some adjustments and compromises. Here are some tips to follow while living in a joint family:
1. Mind your own business:
Living together does not mean that we have to know each and everything another person or a family is doing. So, it is very important that the family members do not breach anyone’s privacy. Such things may seem petty but they can lead to creating distances among family members.
Everyone who’s living in a joint family system should try not to indulge in other people’s lives. Don’t be someone who always keeps an eye on what is happening in other people’s lives, for example, who is going, who is visiting, leave things like that and lead a peaceful life and let live too.
2. Household chores:
Another important factor is even distribution of workload. Again, this is something the mother-in-law has to implement. So that the burden does not remain on any one person of the house. The guests visiting the house should also be looked after by everyone. In short, when it comes to household chores, it should be a team work.
3. Healthy relationship:
Building a healthy relationship among family members is very important but difficult in a joint family system. Little disputes can grow big if not treated at the right time. Here also elders of the society can play their role in solving disputes among family members.
Sometimes there is a dispute between husband and wife. Family should give time to husband and wife settle the issue between themselves. If they have to intervene, they should not side with their son or brother all the time but try to help by staying neutral.
5. Avoid backbiting:
It is seen that backbiting is quite a common norm in a joint family system. Backbiting can have a very bad effect on maintaining a good relationship among family members.
To crown this, sometimes the backbiters make a team to single out someone. Both the practices will end up developing grudges among family members.
Don’t let jealousy make space in your mind at all. This feeling leaves disastrous effects on good relationships. You will end up frustrating none other but yourself. Everyone has their own unique life experiences. Don’t get jealous if someone else is happy with something they have. You have your good times just like the others. Try to be happy in other people’s happiness, this will make you happy too.
7. Change the routine:
Everyone gets tired with the same routine. A healthy environment nurtures healthy mind. There should be time where all the family members can sit together for some light chit chat. Instead of sticking to one’s mobile all the time. There should be something that could bring the family together. For example, introduce board games. It would be fun for elders and children alike.
8. Family time:
Since everyone lives together there should be some private time for each family too. The husbands should plan a day out for dinner, for example, on weekends. Also, a trip to some place can be arranged, yearly or so, to take the family on vacations.
Quarrels in family leave a very bad effect on children. Elders, especially mothers, should not pass everything on to children in the house. Nor should they vent out everything at them. Children should be kept away from family politics at all costs. Stress can be very harmful for children and affect their behavior badly. So don’t lose your cool while dealing with children.
Living in a joint family means growing up with cousins, uncles, aunts, and grandparents who give children the opportunity to connect with everyone and forge close bonds. Especially, the bond with grandparents, which almost every child cherishes. This feature is among the key characteristics of a joint household. Living in a joint family also means celebrating festivals, occasions, and events together with joy and enthusiasm.
People in our culture want their daughter-in-law to make any and all sacrifices. Therefore, if you are a member of a joint family system and there are no current intentions to separate your home, live in harmony and peace.
The saying “sharing is caring” is well known. Although there are blessings and benefits to living together as a family. Thus, you may divide the workload. The workload of the home is evenly distributed when a large number of individuals are living together. Each member shares in the basic home tasks of cooking, cleaning, laundry, and shopping. Joint living arrangements entail splitting costs, obligations, and resources. Individual members may have less stress and financial strain as a result, and they may be able to save money for other uses.
But bear in mind that everyone has a unique personality. Some individuals dislike sharing. Consequently, you must make certain compromises in order to live peacefully.
11. Be mindful of the layout:
It is recommended that if elders are willing to keep family joint, use an open-plan design home to give the impression that the space is larger and to allow for greater family gatherings. Make facilities for sliding doors or semi-transparent walls to create private spaces as needed.3. Additionally, when constructing or planning the house, take into account the requirements and preferences of every member and create a compromise that works for everyone.
To make joint living successful everyone has to play their part. With that said, the role of elders of the house is very important to make good relationships among family members in a joint family system.
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