What is Failure to Launch?

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Navigating the transition from childhood to adulthood can be a difficult task for many young adults. Sometimes, this can cause concern in parents who have heard of “failure to launch”.  Failure to launch is not a diagnosis; rather, it’s when young adults find it challenging to “launch” their adult lives and become independent on their own.  It’s common for millennials and Gen Z-ers to struggle with leaving home and establishing a life of their own. As parents, it can be stressful to watch your children struggle with this transition. But don’t worry—we have some tips to help you encourage independence in your young adult. 

Be Open About Expectations for Your Young Adult

When it comes to preparing your young adult for life on their own, communication is key. Make sure that your expectations are clearly outlined and that you both understand what needs to be done in order for them to leave the nest. This includes things like getting a driver’s license, finding a job, applying for college, or any other goals they may have set for themselves or you have set as a family. By communicating openly and honestly about your expectations, you will have a better understanding of how ready they truly are for this next step in their lives.  If you get push back, understand that expecting all of these things to happen at the same time can be intimidating and that taking small achievable steps can help make the process less daunting.

Give Space with Structure

If your child is struggling with becoming independent, try to work together with them on finding solutions, including the small wins mentioned above. Give them space and freedom while still being available and providing check-ins on progress—this will show that you care but also help them learn how to make decisions on their own. You can also offer advice if needed; just remember not to be too pushy or controlling as this could cause more harm than good. 

Encourage Them To Explore Their Potential 

It’s important for young adults to explore different options before making any final decisions about where or how they want to live once they leave home. Many young adults take some time off after graduating high school or college so that they can consider options. Encourage them to intern or volunteer during this exploration period as well; these experiences will give them invaluable insight into different career paths and lifestyles that may interest them down the line.  

How to Help Your Child Who May Not Feel Ready for Independence

Helping your child become an independent adult is no easy feat! It requires patience, understanding, communication, and trust on both ends—but it is possible. With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to help your young adult launch successfully into adulthood armed with the confidence and knowledge needed for success!  If you are looking for support and guidance, reach out to OPG.  We offer Next Generation Support for Young Adults including:

  • 1-1 coaching with the goal of developing prepared members of the next generation.
  • Support focuses on mental and emotional health
  • Issues with personal growth, identity, and tools for leading a purposeful life are also addressed
  • Help young adults set short and long-term goals and establish concrete next steps to achieve them
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Learn more about how OPG can help.

OPG services are not covered by insurance.