By: Ally Hoffman, MA
I’m sure we have all heard the statement: failure to launch at some point. Made popular by the movie with Matthew McConaughey, the concept “Failure to Launch” describes the circumstance in which individuals aged 18 to 25 face difficulty launching into adulthood. This concept is so popular. In fact, a Clark University Researcher, Jefferey Jensen Arnett proposed a new life stage he refers to as “Emerging Adulthood.” During this stage, young adults are focused on themselves, trying to transition between adolescence and adulthood, exploring their identity and the vast possibilities the world has to offer. All the while trying to juggle the instability involved in the whole transition.
Where Did Failure To Launch Originate?
Growing up, we have everything laid out for us from the time we are five heading to kindergarten to the time we are 18 graduating high school. You go to school, get your grades, possibly participate in extra-curricular activities, maybe get a job, and then graduate high school. Once you graduate, the world still seems black and white because you decide to go to college or head straight into the workforce.
However, we cannot forget the third avenue in which a young adult is still living in the family home on their parent’s dime. This is when all of the practical life skills you did not learn in school are given a test drive!
Failure To Launch Can Be An Opportunity For Growth
Whichever route you choose, both parents and adult children have opportunities to learn and grow during this phase. Parents are adjusting to a more hands-off parenting style and acting to bolster their adult children’s independence. Parents are working to create new traditions and change habits with grown children. Often this can include creating an entirely new connection from the emerging adult that involves more acceptance of this new identity.
The adult-child is taking on, offering guidance without control, and holding space for the child to grow. Young adults are learning how to adult for the first time focusing on things they have never had to manage before, like car payments, rent, acquiring and holding a job, and so much more! Because of all of the new responsibilities, young adults might feel they lack motivation or direction or have difficulty taking responsibility. They may also be unable to meet expectations held by others and themselves, have problems with perseverance, possibly even procrastination, and mainly cope with stress.
Failure To Launch Challenges? Counseling Can Help!
Life changes can be complex. Adjusting to new family norms throughout some of these changes can create some awkward growing pains for both parents and young adults.
Counseling can help offer support and act as a stronghold during this time of transitions. It can ultimately serve as a drawing board to facilitate what this next stage of life looks like for each individual. Young adults can learn to flourish and accept the various challenges accompanying adulthood. Parents can take a back seat and begin enjoying the fruits of their labor.
To learn more about this from the parent perspective, check out this book “Setting Boundaries® with Your Adult Children: Six Steps to Hope and Healing for Struggling Parents,” by Allison Botke.
What is Holding You Back?
Often, I find that clients struggle with the idea that they might have failed in their role as either the parent or the young adult. That F word can be scary for many of us. However, counseling is about becoming a better version of yourself. Understanding that there is no perfect picture of what a parent or emerging adult should look like. In therapy, you get to keep your best foot forward. You will develop the tools for self-reflection and acceptance of adverse circumstances. You will learn to be more content with the unknown that accompanies these stages of life.
Let Us Help You Thrive with Counseling in Katy, Texas:
Want to move through this phase of life more swiftly? One of the therapists at Counseling Center at Cinco Ranch can help be the support you need. We offer individual and family counseling services alongside couple and group counseling services! To get started on your journey, follow these three steps:
- Reach out to our office to get matched with a counselor that is right for you!
- Schedule an appointment that best suits your schedule.
- Tackle Emerging Adulthood!
Other Services We Offer
Here at The Counseling Center at Cinco Ranch, we offer counseling services for people of all ages in areas including counseling for kids, counseling for young adults, teen counseling, couples counseling, eating disorder treatment, men’s issues, women’s issues, anxiety treatment, depression therapy, trauma counseling, family therapy, and group counseling. Our therapists strive to post blogs regularly. We provide helpful information on a variety of mental health topics. To learn more about our therapists and counseling services, please reach out to the Counseling Center today!