elderly parents

A perspective from the 1940′s

Dear Bernice The other night I could not sleep as I was so full of anger and frustration. I wondered if it was anything to do with being an only child and I looked on the internet to see if there was anything about it there. I found your site, amongst others, and was amazed at the similar experiences of only children and their partners, especially the dealing with conflict part. I am an only child, now in my seventies My parents married young and parted when I was born, not at that time because they did not get on but because of my father joining the RAF. Apparently he was in a reserved occupation and only joined up when there was an announcement for volunteers by young men (even if they were in reserved occupations) to join the Air Force if they were in reserved occupations. My father immediately volunteered and became a pilot. My mother was apparently not impressed with [...]

Read more…

Life Stages: Middle Adulthood

Bernice continues her discussion of Life Stages from the perspective of the only-child adult. After the  Young adult life -stage, which is concerned with making relationships and settling down, we move into the middle-adult, life-stage. Middle adulthood is the time when we are actively involved in generativity. This is about helping the next generation and could be through raising children or contributing to the welfare of future generations through paid or voluntary work,  or even perhaps in some other way. However it is also at this stage that many only children and non onlies,  find themselves caring for elderly parents. My research suggests that this phase of caring for elderly parents is particularly challenging for onlies, who often have strong feelings of responsibility toward parents’ and at the same time no siblings to share these feelings with. It also means that for some only-children the projected responsibility of elderly parents [...]

Read more…