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  • Writer's pictureStephanie Whiteside

Advice for When Your Child has "Failed to Launch"

Updated: Jul 11, 2023

Failing to launch is a common issue that many parents face when their adult children are unable to transition into adulthood. It is important for parents to understand the root causes of this issue and how best to help their children move forward.

The first step is for parents to ensure their child has the necessary tools and support to become an independent adult. This could include helping them develop a budget, setting up a savings plan, and teaching them about financial literacy. It is also important to provide emotional support and guidance, such as helping them set goals and providing a listening ear as they talk through their challenges.

Parents should also help their child build social and communication skills. This could include assisting them with job networking, providing guidance on how to make meaningful connections, and helping them build self-confidence. It is also important to help them find meaningful activities that they enjoy, such as volunteer work or classes.

Finally, parents should be patient and consistent. It is important to be firm and consistent in expectations and boundaries, while also showing understanding and empathy for the struggles their child is facing. Although you need to show your children respect as adults, that respect should be mutual and demonstrated by your child in respecting your household and recognizing that support is limited and "as needed" instead of unending.

Failing to launch can be a difficult issue to overcome, but it is possible with the right guidance. It is important for parents to create a supportive environment that encourages their child to take responsibility for their own success. With the right approach, parents can help their child gain the confidence and the skills they need to become an independent adult.

If you find that your child is hindered by symptoms of mental illness, or you are experiencing difficulty setting expectations and following through with limits, it may be beneficial to seek counseling services to gain insight and learn new strategies.

Stephanie Whiteside, LCSW

Owner and Therapist

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