Advantages of the Traditional Nuclear Family

In such a family structure, the father’s role includes providing for the family, protecting it, and being the family’s disciplinary role model. A mother’s role consists of household work, raising the kids, and taking care of the family.

What are the Advantages

In recent decades, such a family structure has undergone major changes with increasing rates of divorce leading to single-parent families and remarriages which result in extended families. These trends and the resulting problems that they cause, especially for the children, has brought the advantages of traditional nuclear families back into focus.

A Stable Environment
Children raised in a family with married, heterosexual parents during their growing years have a higher likelihood of having stability in their current and future relationships and emotional bonding. Children who grow up in a single-parent household have higher chances of feeling a sense of loss regarding the absent parent, and miss out on the advantages of emotional support and dual insights that both parents can provide.

Behavioral Stability
With both parents, children get a better sense of what is acceptable and unacceptable, as far as behavior is concerned, especially when both the parents look after their nurturing. When both parents agree on the kind of behavior that they want from their children, it adds authority, and thus can be instilled in a better way.

A Sense of Consistency
Children get a sense consistency, especially when it also includes closeness with other members of the family such as grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. This provides a strong foundation to their roots, and can be a guiding principle all their lives.

Learning Skills
In a nuclear family, children usually get far more extensive training in life skills. For instance, mothers usually teach their children relationship skills, like emotional response skills and how to have smooth relations with others. Whereas fathers, in general, teach their children handiwork and sports skills, like fixing things around the house or hitting a baseball, as well as how to deal with the world outside.

Sharing Responsibility
With two parents sharing the responsibility of raising their children, it enables one parent to take time to pursue other interests or get a rest while the other parent plays or works with them. Children also tend to take on some of the sharing of the responsibilities, such as older siblings taking care of their younger siblings. Certain roles are usually performed by expectation and example, rather than formal instruction.

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.

Family Feud: Living With Members of the Opposite Party

Though political ideals tend to run in families, there are cases such as my own in which one’s views just don’t match with those of their family. Though this won’t tear a family apart in most cases, it can cause tension at family gatherings or at the dinner table. Here are a few tips I’ve discovered from my personal experiences as a flaming liberal atheist in a hardcore conservative Christian family.

1. Make your opinions clear but don’t try to change theirs: You don’t expect them to change your feelings about the matter, do you? This makes it highly unlikely that you’ll change their minds either. State your feelings on a topic and move on, rather than pushing your beliefs on them.

2. Avoid religion: If your religious views are different, the best thing you can do is to avoid the topic altogether. In my case, when we gather around to pray before dinner, I bow my head but I don’t actually pray, because that’s not my belief. Respect the beliefs of your family, but do NOT attempt conversion. That can only end in an emotional mess.

3. Respect their opinions and ideals: Everyone feels a little differently when it comes to politics, and no two politicos are alike. If you disagree, don’t attack. Nod your head, respect the thought they’ve put into their logic, no matter how twisted, and move along.

4. Leave the room: If a debate among family members becomes heated, you’d best leave the room and mingle elsewhere. Besides, there’s got to be somebody in your family who you can see eye to eye with, right?

5. Shove that turkey in your mouth and keep quiet: This works well around holidays such as Thanksgiving, where food is in abundance. Stuff your face, so you’ve got an excuse not to talk.

6. Avoid family: This isn’t recommended. Despite my family’s drastically different views of the world, I still love them. See your family for who they are and not what they believe. This may seem difficult, but it’s vastly better than ignoring your family altogether.

Using these simple and easy tips, it is my most sincere hope that your family gatherings can be a more pleasant experience. Though you may, on occasion, feel alienated if you are alone among a crowd of conservatives or liberals, depending on your own stance, remember that no matter what, your family will love you.

At least, I would hope that is the case.