Can’t Live With ‘Em, Can’t Live Without ‘Em

In Roz Chast’s Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?, she illustrates and narrates her parents’ latter years. In doing so, Roz describes her lifelong challenging relationship with her disciplinarian mother, with whom she rarely felt affection, and her father, who had grown accustomed to her mother’s demanding ways. So many of us, while dealing with our parents, have siblings with whom we can roll our eyes, poke with our elbows, or otherwise share (or argue about) responsibilities. However, Roz was managing all alone. How does this change things? Does it change things? Does it make it easier? Or harder? Everyone has a personal experience that could lead them to argue either way. Roz of course is not alone in being an only child. However, it was atypical for her generation. In the 1950’s, American parents had 3.7 children on average. Perhaps the Chasts were ahead of their time. Only children are on the rise–in 2014, the average is 1.9. Also, the percentage of couples who have one child has doubled in the past twenty years–from only 10% to 23%. Does the sole possession of attention and resources as youngsters beat out the feeling of assisting aging parents alone? On hand to handle these and other questions surrounding family dynamics are Lyn Allen, Ph. D., psychologist; Brenda Wilhelm, Ph. D., sociologist; and Kayren Goss, long-time nurse for the elderly. Understanding the Family You Have is on Thursday the 22nd at 6:00 pm. We hope to see you there–bring a family member!

Posted in General, One Book, One Mesa County.

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