Remember the movie Failure to Launch, starring Matthew McConaughey and Sarah Jessica Parker? The 2006 film is a story about a 35-year-old man living with his parents who shows no interest in leaving the comfortable life that they have made for him. Although it’s a romantic comedy, there is truth to this fictional story.
Failure to launch syndrome is the inability to be independent and self-reliant. Also known as Peter Pan syndrome, after the famous story of the boy who never grows up, this problem is common in young adults, especially young men between 18-30. It refers to young adults who are dependent on their parents and can be associated with unhealthy co-dependent relationships.
According to a new pool by Pew Research Center. 52% of young Americans are living with their parents, the highest number on record, surpassing the 48% high during the Great Depression.
Some of that can be blamed on Covid-19, but even before that, a big percentage of 18- to 29-year-olds were living with a parent.
According to the Business Insider, A 2016 report said millennial men were more likely to live with a mom or dad than with a significant other. In July of 2019, 47% of young adults lived with a parent.
Failure to Launch is not just fallout from Covid-19; it is a cultural reality. There are a lot of theories as to why this has happened, but no doubt parents are hoping that their kids do not fall into the failure-to-launch category because they’ve not learned how to be responsible adults.
In most Western countries, young adults are expected to leave home and support themselves. And while they may need a small amount of time to launch themselves, the ultimate goal is to see them support themselves and get along on their own.
I’m happy to report that all three of our kids are “launched.” They are living on their own, paying their own bills, and resolving their own life issues. They may ask for advice or rare help, but they have accepted responsibility for their own choices and lives.
It wasn’t always an easy process. We had one child who got her dream job right out of college and was able to move out on her own immediately. The other two had a slower launching process, but both have moved out of state and are now fully responsible for themselves.
As much as it pains us to see our kids move out or move away, their independence is what we work to so hard to see achieved through 18+ year of parenting. We plan for it, we pray for it, and yes sometimes it’s painful, but in the end, it is our kids’ way of saying, “Well done, Mom and Dad, you did your job well! I’m ready for life on my own!”
Raising kids who grow to be responsible adults does not just happen by chance. It takes proactive parenting and a very clear understanding of what parents can do to make that happen.
If you desire to keep your kids from “failure to launch,” then my next webinar is for you!
Learn more about the webinar and how to sign up here.
Failure to launch may be the new reality for many families, but it does not have to be your reality. A lot of it comes from young adults who are afraid of failing in adulthood. This can cripple them and they are afraid to leave home where it is familiar and comfortable.
Help your kids be ready to face the world! Teach them to be responsible NOW. It’s never too early or too late to start.