Does Your Child Suffer From Failure to Launch?

failure to launch

Shortly before the coronavirus pandemic began, a high number of young adults still lived with their parents. A study from the Pew Research Center showed that 47% of people ages 18-29 lived at home with one or more parents before the pandemic. In July of 2020, that number went up to 52%.

This trend crossed all race, gender, and geographical region lines. Eleven percent of these young adults were neither employed nor attending school.

Younger People Do Not Feel as Much Pressure to Couple up

Another study done by the Pew Research Center last year showed that many adults have become frustrated and less interested in dating than previous generations. Of those who are not married or in a relationship but want to date, 67% said their dating lives are not doing well. In addition, 75% said finding someone to date in the previous year proved to be difficult. This trend contributes to many younger people not being in a hurry to have their own place.

Students Often Return Home After Trouble Adjusting to College

In past generations, the expectation for graduating high school students was that they attend a four-year university. Going back home after getting their diploma was not a given for those going to school out of town. Today’s generation often postpones college plans or opts not to go at all.

Many young adults who do begin a college career become overwhelmed when adjusting to academic life. The pressures of adult academics, school work, and choosing a career can place enormous pressure on a person.

Many people who have parents who tended to do a lot for them find it challenging to switch to “adulting” while away at college. Tasks like waking up on time, paying their bills, and doing their laundry can prove daunting.

Difficulty Learning to Postpone Payoffs

One of the fundamental truths in life has to do with learning to postpone satisfaction. College students have to wait years before receiving their diplomas. When entering the workforce, they typically begin at an entry-level position. These young adults must learn to work hard before payoffs like promotions, raises, and better benefits start.

For individuals raised in the age of the internet, this type of patience may not come easily. Their formative years were spent being able to access information immediately. Communication with friends, family, and strangers around the world was just a few keystrokes away.

Music and movies can be downloaded in seconds. Whatever cuisine a young adult craves can be delivered to their front door in minutes.

Growing up in a world that does not foster a sense of working hard and waiting for payoffs can have a negative impact on becoming an adult. This trend makes it difficult for many people to have the patience to develop a career that doesn’t provide instant satisfaction and benefits.

For this reason, many simply do not leave the nest because they don’t have a complete understanding of how the adult world works.

Addiction and Mental Health Issues Can Contribute to Failure to Launch

Sometimes a young adult who has no real plan to leave home may be dealing with some very grownup problems. If they suffer from addiction to alcohol or drugs, this likely contributes to a lack of desire to move out and accept more responsibility.

Young people who struggle to manage their mental health often feel a need to stick close to home. They may be afraid to grow up and live independently due to a fear of their mental health becoming worse.

These individuals may not fully understand the skills they need to be out on their own. These skills can include budgeting, bill paying, grocery shopping, and cooking. For them, staying home and letting mom or dad stay at the helm feels safer.

Seeking Help for Failure to Launch

When a child has demonstrated a clear failure to launch, a conversation with them can start the ball rolling. Parents should let their children know that while they understand they need assistance in changing, they also have to take some responsibility. A parent can offer empathy and make it clear that everyone has to grow up; adulting does not fall under the heading of “optional.”

Professional programs can address the issue of failure to launch. These treatment programs typically require the adult child attends a residential facility. The program will provide the individual with time away from their parents’ home, providing a needed break for both the child and their parents.

This type of program teaches young adults basic life skills that take away some of the mystery of being responsible for themselves. They also offer educational and career counseling to help their clients set goals. Sessions with counselors help young people transition into lasting adulthood.

Parents should look for programs that address any substance use disorders or mental health diagnoses that accompany the failure to launch. The combined treatment modalities of these types of programs help young adults become confident and eager to assume adult status.

If you have an adult child who still lives at home and shows no desire to move out, you may be dealing with what’s called a “failure to launch.” This condition involves an adult who still lives with their parents and seems unwilling to grow up and move out. They may suffer from uncertainty about how to be an adult, experience addiction, or have mental health issues. Sustain Recovery treats young adults who have demonstrated a failure to launch. We help them develop excitement about growing up, gaining autonomy, and living on their own. We teach life skills, provide educational and career counseling, and offer regular therapy sessions to help young people develop an understanding of their issues and how to resolve them. We also treat addiction and mental health issues. If you need help launching your child into permanent adulthood, call Sustain Recovery today at (949) 407-9052 to get started.