It is no more a question of choice/preference: married children have to live away from their parents out of necessity. Earning a livelihood from jobs unlike family business take them to different cities/countries. Apart from this practical reason there are children who prefer to live away from their parents even within the same town. This is because of the younger generation having different ideas about privacy, independence and comfort.
Gone are the days when youngsters looked upon the elders with veneration and waited for their counsel in everything. Is it confidence or defiance that make them take full control of their lives? The new mantra is 'my life, my comfort'. A young man thus prefers to prioritise his personal comfort with wife and his children. He and his wife find old people burdensome and antagonistic!
The soaps and cinemas create this belief. Modern lifestyles are like that. Old ways and new styles of homemaking are definitely incompatible. Either for children or the young parents the time schedule differ greatly from old time habits. They go to sleep at unearthly hour and wake up when the sun is high above the head. Eating habits differ- good old healthy traditional menus find little favour while fast food and junk food rule the taste buds.
All new machines from the microwave oven to washing machine, computer, play station and cell phones create confusion for the older generation who find it difficult to adapt to new modes.
The very communication pattern is changed from obeisance to frank, fearless exchanges. This does not mean lack of respect. Just a visible change of times.
In this age of increased knowledge, gender equality and awareness about legal rights and the boldness to follow lawful solutions to dissatisfied relationships make ego clashes a common feature in family relationships. The best advantages of joint family are - financial savings, labour distribution and protection for children. But then the youngsters can manage very well without grandparents who guarantee these! They value freedom more than these wise arrangements.
In a way it is only kind that the elders get their space and freedom to trudge on at their own pace unhindered by the hectic lifestyles and ultra modern trends followed by the youngsters. The distance is welcome indeed till it is possible! Mental peace and emotional calm is preserved by living away from each other.
It has become a necessary evil, I should say.