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Who is the head of the family?

     “Head of the Family”  is a term commonly used by family members to describe an authority position within their lineage – Extracted from a research paper, social science science and humanities council Canada. It is mostly a male, irrespective of who is the real head of the family.  Mostly the man – husband, father, father-in-law is the head of the family. In the olden days, man was the head of the family because

  • Men were more physically strong than women
  • Men earned money for the living
  • Men were less emotional in making decisions
  • Men had more exposure to the outside world than women
  • Men were more educated than women
  • Men protected women and family

But, is this still applicable in 21st century when women demand equality in all aspects of life.

A 4 year old kid tells her mom, dad is the head of the family not you. Mom obviously gets hurt by the kids statement, so she says I am head of the family too given that I earn, bring money, and have taken major responsibilities in running this house hold.

My perspective on who is the head of the family when both parents bring in money for the family, takes care of children, runs house together – both.  Though I am career oriented and ambitious, always my family especially kid comes first before my career (That does not mean I’ll quit my job for tiny little problems in personal or professional life).  When my kid was born I decided to take a break from work but I cook, I feed, did everything that my new baby required and was completely involved in making decisions for us, my family and myself. I have had the privilege to take break in my career. My husband did NOT had that luxury. In those situations I’d call him “ the bread winner of my family”, not the head of the family. My husband earns for our living that is why he should be called the bread winner. But irrespective of whether a women brings money or not as long as she has the authority and responsibility to take important decisions such as house, kids, finance, self , I think both husband and wife are “Heads of the family”. I know it sounds weird but that is the fact. It is not necessarily the man, the head of the family, not necessarily there is one head of the family.

What do you think who should be the head of the family?

In 21st century, shouldn’t women be the head of the family given she brings in money, makes a family, cooks food, raises children, educate kids, runs house, manages finances, has equal exposure to the outside world?



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