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3 Small Steps to Cure Failure to Launch in Adult Millennials [Updated May 13, 2019]
May 13, 2019
If your adult child still lives at home with you, their failure to launch can easily become a source of tension in the household. Often that failure to launch is accompanied by a substance use disorder or behavioral addiction. When that is the case, it can be hard to tell which is the cause and which is the effect.
More than one third of adult millennials live at home with their parents. If your child is one of the 36 percent of millennials still living at home, these three small steps can help them cure failure to launch. You can help them successfully move out as you encourage them to embrace their independence.1
#1 – Set a Goal Together
Chances are that your young adult wants to get out and thrive on their own. But your child might also feel inadequate or even incapable. Perhaps they tried once before and the reality of life outside of school or home was more difficult than they were prepared to accept.2 To cure failure to launch, this discrepancy must be addressed as you set reasonable, actionable goals together.
One option is to arm yourself with a one-year calendar. You can work together to choose a specific date by which your child should be moved out and living independently. Pick a date that is near the end of that calendar. Next, choose a date a few months sooner by which they should have a steady job, if they do not already have one.
A concrete goal gives you a better chance to cure failure to launch. It is much better than simply saying, “When are you going to move out?” or “What are you doing to get your life together?” or something similar.
#2 – Directly Address the Issues Keeping Your Child at Home
There is a reason your grown child is still at home.
Fear of failure is common among the generation who grew up during the worst economic depression since WWII, and high expectations from their parents—who grew up through a period of relative economic stability—compounds the problem.3
Have an honest discussion with your young adult about what is holding them back. Do your best to simply listen to what they have to say.
Create some short-term goals on your calendar that address some of the behaviors and factors that are demotivating your child. If spending too much time on social media is a problem, for example, give them three months to curb their Facebook habits before you move the computer out of their room. If daily pizza delivery is a pain point, give them three weeks to cut their pizza back to once weekly before you stop paying for it.
Gradual reduction is always preferable to stopping-cold turkey because your young adult will be much more equipped to make these changes permanent.
#3 – Get Professional Help
When an addiction is at the root of your child’s reluctance to leave home, curing failure to launch may require the help of a medical professional. Openly discuss the addiction with your adult child.
Put some goals on the calendar for that as well. Specifically circle a date in red for a few months or even weeks, depending on the severity of the addiction, by which they should check into rehab if they have not stopped using by that date. This date provides a clearly communicated and well-established timeline for your young adult. Involving them in goal setting will help them make changes on their own.
If they cannot make those changes, professional help may be the only option.
Cure Failure to Launch a Little Bit at a Time
It took years for your adult child to get to where they are today. They didn’t fail to launch once, it has happened one day at a time over a long period of time.
Setting small goals in reasonable increments is the only way to cure failure to launch; it will not happen overnight. But when you work together, stay supportive yet firm, and get help from a professional if you need it, the two of you can cure failure to launch.
If you are a parent looking for a resource to help your young adult battling substance use or behavioral addiction, help is available. I’ve recently re-released my best-selling book Maximum Strength: How Executives and Families Can Overcome Addiction for Good.
The book provides stories and support derived from my own struggles with addiction and relapse as well as many successes in assisting thousands in their recovery process. You can order you copy here.
- http://www. .com/us/2017/04/20/third-american-millennials-live-with-their-parents-us-census-report-finds.html