"Failure to Launch", Adulting, Parenting

Rejecting the Label “Failure to Launch”

You may have heard of the phenomenon called failure to launch. There are blogs out there touting that it’s a “syndrome”, making it sound like an actual diagnosis (which it is not!). I am encouraging everyone to stop slapping the failure to launch label on young people who are trying to find their way. It’s a negative term that pathologizes young people’s journey towards adulthood.

Successfully transitioning into adulthood is a process. Continue reading “Rejecting the Label “Failure to Launch””

Parenting

Four Essential Elements for Effective Consequences

Creating Effective Consequences for Children

Parents often ask me how to effectively create consequences for their teen or emerging adult child. In some ways, it’s the same as when you crafted consequences for your young child, but there are two really important differences. I thought about all the elements I’ve spoken to parents about over the years and created a list of the four essential considerations when creating effective consequences. Continue reading “Four Essential Elements for Effective Consequences”

"Failure to Launch", College, Parenting

Ensuring a Smooth Transition from High School to College

The transition to college comes with lots of excitement… and usually also a hefty dose of anxiety. College is often the first time your child will live away from home and be entirely responsible for his or her life. Not only will he or she be handling more rigorous academics, but he or she will be navigating a new social scene, juggling more competing responsibilities than ever, and managing higher levels of stress. Without proper planning and support, your child may struggle or flounder. Continue reading “Ensuring a Smooth Transition from High School to College”

College, Parenting

Pick the College that Fits You Best

As someone who works with emerging adults (18-20 year olds) already in college or graduated from college, I know how important college fit is. I’ve seen how a poor fit in terms of academics, campus community, and supports can really hurt a person’s ability to thrive in a college environment. I’ve also seen students who transferred to somewhere that’s a better fit were able to really flourish and make huge progress.

I don’t want to perpetuate the myth that there is a perfect college for everyone. However, I do think it’s important that people understand that not every college (no matter how prestigious or well known) is a good fit for every student. Picking a college that fits you best encompasses more considerations than just reputation and finances.

Here are some questions to consider when deciding if a college if the right fit for you: Continue reading “Pick the College that Fits You Best”

"Failure to Launch", College, Parenting

Is Your Teen Ready for College?

is your teen ready for college?

Transitioning from high school to college can sometimes feel like a precarious leap, instead of the manageable next step in the journey to independence. Oftentimes, students who are successful in high school find the transition to college to be a challenge because the work is faster paced, the instruction is less specific, and the academics are more competitive. College requires students to be more independent, self-driven, and organized. Additionally, the social scene can feel intimidating and more stressful than in high school. Continue reading “Is Your Teen Ready for College?”

"Failure to Launch", College, Parenting

Four Paths to a Productive Gap Year

Four Paths to a Productive Gap Year

Not every adolescent is ready to tackle college right after high school. Instead of sending them off to college because it’s the norm, why not take a gap year to help better prepare them for the challenges they’ll face? Taking a gap year is normative in countries like Australia and the United Kingdom, and it seems like more teens in the United States are trying it out, too. Even Malia Obama took a gap year before starting at Harvard University! Continue reading “Four Paths to a Productive Gap Year”

"Failure to Launch", Parenting

Are You Enabling Your Adult Child?

Image result for enabling parents cartoon

“Why do parents keep enabling their kids?” a colleague once asked me. I looked at her with a bewildered look on my face. Parents financially support their emerging adult (18-29 year old) children for the same reason they do everything they do as parents… because they love their children (and often want to protect them from perceived hardship). Unfortunately, this well-intentioned support can sometimes morph into full-fledged enabling.

But how will you know the difference? Continue reading “Are You Enabling Your Adult Child?”

"Failure to Launch", Parenting

Developmentally Appropriate Life Skills Your Child Needs to Have

You want the best for your child.  You want to shelter them from pain and suffering. It pains you to see them struggle.

Sometimes in our efforts to help our children get through life unscathed, we actually do them a disservice. We’re so busy getting them from point A to point B as a happy, healthy person that we might’ve helped them become a teen or young adult with no basic life skills or resilience. Paradoxically, by trying your best to help your child successfully deal with the trials and tribulations of life, you might have inadvertently set up your child to struggle in their young adulthood.

Continue reading “Developmentally Appropriate Life Skills Your Child Needs to Have”

"Failure to Launch", Parenting

Help Prepare Your Teen for Adulthood

As high school graduation approaches, you may be wondering if you child is ready to take on all the responsibilities and pressures that come with adulthood. You might be especially worried because you’ve heard about the “failure to launch” crisis and “boomerang kid” trend that’s impacting so many families across the nation. It’s never too late to help your child become independent and more prepared for adulthood.

Here are some important skills to focus on: Continue reading “Help Prepare Your Teen for Adulthood”