Every parent has trouble letting go of their children when they become young adults, but sometimes their adult children don’t seem to want to actually grow up. If you have a son or daughter who exhibits failure to launch symptoms, you may have no idea how to inspire them to take charge of their lives and cut the apron ties. New View Wellness in Atlanta created a program that helps young people face their fears and hesitations about becoming full-fledged adults who live their own independent lives. Through the use of targeted therapy sessions, children can move fully into adult life with enthusiasm and the beneficial life skills they need.

What is Failure to Launch Syndrome?

The term “failure to launch” refers to young adult children who have reached the point where they should have transitioned into independent lives but have not done so. This can include attending or graduating from college, having a job, living outside of their parents’ home, and paying their bills. Instead, they have not reached a true state of independence and seem content to rely on others to keep them afloat in a variety of ways. Many people with failure to launch symptoms still live with a parent, don’t hold down a regular job, do not attend college, and don’t have any real goals for moving out and becoming responsible for their lives in full. 

Parents and caregivers become frustrated when they cannot seem to motivate their adult child to “grow up”. They often find themselves financially supporting them long past a reasonable point in time and wonder if they have options for helping their child change their mindset.

What are Common Failure to Launch Symptoms?

Someone who has failure to launch will exhibit symptoms that showcase they have developed a problem. Common failure to launch symptoms include: 

  • Does not work or holds down a part-time job but may often avoid a shift or change jobs
  • Lacks plans for a career 
  • Declines to attend college or job training classes or attended them for a while and then dropped out or flunked out
  • Lack of motivation in general
  • Dreams of an unrealistic plan to make money such as becoming a social media star or professional video game player
  • Never moved out of their family home or left but returned
  • Makes plans to change their lives but does not follow through on them
  • Seems comfortable letting others pay their bills and provide all or most of their spending money
  • Difficulty forming lasting relationships
  • Expresses a fear of entering the adult world and assumes they will fail at it
  • Symptoms of anxiety, depression, or other mental health disorders
  • Abuses drugs or alcohol

Who is at Risk of Developing Failure to Launch?

No one specific reason exists for why someone experiences failure to launch symptoms. It can occur because of one particular issue or a combination of them. For some families, there may not be an obvious trigger. Some common events that contribute to failure to launch have to do with the following:

Helicopter parenting: Sometimes parents want to protect their child but end up going overboard. They “hover” over their children, often making decisions for them, protecting them from any consequences of their actions, and doing even simple activities their kids are capable of doing. As a result, the child fails to develop confidence and self-worth. They fear becoming an adult and also may feel obstacles should be overcome by their parents, rather than learning to deal with them on their own.

Mental illness: A child with a mental health disorder, particularly if it is undiagnosed, may feel incapable of moving into their adult lives. Having anxiety, PTSD, depression, personality disorders, and other mental illnesses can rob a young adult of their ability or desire to grow up and become responsible for themselves.

Substance use disorders: A young adult addicted to drugs or alcohol often lacks motivation for things like creating a career path or going to school. They may become comfortable drinking or using drugs while someone else financially supports them. Until the addiction is treated professionally, the child will likely continue to stay in their rut.

How is Failure to Launch Treated?

Treatment for failure to launch begins with a thorough assessment of the individual to understand all the issues at hand. Determining their current mental health and any unresolved past events that contribute to having a failure to launch helps treatment professionals design a plan to help. Talk therapy helps people understand what holds them back from wanting an adult life and working on those feelings. From there, they can create a plan to successfully transition into adult life with a real excitement for their futures. Therapies typically include individual, group, and holistic. As well, family therapy helps everyone understand the challenges at hand and learn how best to support their loved one.

Find Help Overcoming Failure to Launch in Atlanta

Do you have an adult son or daughter who seems to be stuck in an adolescent mindset? It can be frustrating to try to help someone who doesn’t appear to embrace the fact that there is an actual problem. New View Wellness in Atlanta provides an outpatient program that helps people overcome failure to launch. Our compassionate therapists help them understand how to successfully deal with any anxiety or hesitancy they have about living on their own, paying their own bills, and living life fully as an adult. We employ the use of a menu of therapy sessions that meet each person’s individual needs in order to help them meet their goals. 

If you would like to talk about failure to launch symptoms you observe in a loved one, contact us today. We offer frustrated parents an avenue of recovery to help their adult child find their independence and embrace adulthood.