Failure to launch, no it’s not the movie starring Sarah Jessica Parker and Mathew McConaghey, but the real life syndrome.
One would think most people would want to move out of their parents’ house after high school, get the education they need, get the job they’ve always wanted, and start a family. Or maybe they have a different idea of adulthood, but the point is that they move out and begin their own lives. That’s not the case for many young adults in today’s generation. This desire to stay home with mom and dad has become so common that they have given it a name, “Failure to Launch”. This term stands for young adults who have trouble transitioning to adulthood.
Psychology Today says 45% of young adults between the ages of 18 and 34 are still living with their parents. That is 21.6 million young adults. And while a percentage of them do have jobs or part time jobs, most surveyed said they don't have any means to move out or start a family anytime in the near future.
This is something that we see often nowadays. I am sure if I asked a random young adult if they or a friend still lives at home, they’d say yes and not even think something is wrong with it. But why is this happening?
David Lancy, author of the Anthropology of Childhood says that parents are what is causing the problem. Kids grow up doing whatever they want to do, and they don’t have any expectations coming from their parents and this becomes a habit. Growing up this way, kids begin to think they can have their parents do everything for them, and they grow used to being coddled. This then transitions to kids not wanting to grow up and do anything for themselves, because they know they have parents who can’t say no to them.
But why are parents so willing to do anything for their kids in this generation? My brother (23) and sister (26), still have not figured out their lives and it gets annoying with them still living at home with no jobs. So I asked my mom why she babied them so much all the time? Her response, “ I know how it feels to not have someone do anything for you growing up and I feel bad when they need something from me because I don’t want them to feel that no one is there for them.” But now she can see by babying them all the time, she enabled them not to grow up on their own. “If I could go back and parent them more and not let them walk all over me, I would.” Along with her, other parents might just simply feel bad and think they have to do something to help all the time.
But I wanted to see the young adults’ points of views who this is happening to, so I went to my sister Kelsea (26). She says, “If no one cares that I'm still living at home, and I don’t have any responsibilities at home, why shouldn't I take advantage of that.” She says she still has plenty of time to grow up and it shouldn’t matter if she’s still at home. But she also has severe anxiety that makes her not want to work in places that involves people, so that too could be a reason why she doesn't start her own life. However, my brother Kyle (23) says, “ I would like to get out of the house, but with only being able to get certain jobs that pay so little, it is almost impossible. And with my mom doing my laundry and not having any expectations of me, I don't mind living at home.” And after listening to both of them they pretty much just say it’s just easier to live at home and they don’t want to step outside of their comfort zone.
Hopefully in the near future, Kelsea and Kyle and many other adults struggling with this can start their own lives.