Failure to Launch Syndrome Definition

Young people often experience a failure to launch syndrome as a result of the inability to make a transition from adolescence to adulthood. It looks like they lack intrinsic motivation and skills to function independently and move through life. They have trouble becoming self-sufficient and taking on adult responsibilities. 

Individuals struggling with failure to launch syndrome are not able to assimilate to college life. Tasks seem extremely daunting to them as they are used to having their parents handle everyday duties for them. Taking a student loan, attending classes, and doing housework make adolescents so distressed that it interferes with their assimilation.

Failure to launch syndrome causes difficulties with learning because of different settings compared to school. Also, it means a lack of motivation to take the necessary steps for starting a career as they are plagued with fear about the future. They ignore their positive skills and don’t set goals as they seem to be unattainable. 

Getting a job is also a complicated task for people with failure to launch syndrome. Even if they manage to find it, they struggle to keep it. Such individuals don’t have a passion which makes it difficult for them to choose a career path. They don’t have anything that brings them joy and purpose. As a result, it gets almost impossible to succeed. 

Failure to launch syndrome can be a consequence of mental health issues. For instance, depression or anxiety can contribute to the fear of the future. Such serious conditions must be addressed by a professional. 

How Can Parents Help their Children to Deal with Failure to Launch Syndrome?

Discuss long-term plans with your children

Typically adolescents with  failure to launch syndrome avoid making any plans to become independent. They usually don’t have big goals and no idea how to reach success. They don’t want to plan their future there and move out. Instead of asking your children what they’re going to do with their life, raise the subject gently. Be supportive and inspiring during your discussion. Propose some ideas and express your expectations. 

Ask your children to contribute

Create a plan for financial contributions and set clear house rules. Make your children responsible for the household and write down your agreements. Stay firm while creating rules in your own house.

Encourage efforts

If your children are trying to become less dependent on you, support them. Do your best to boost their self-esteem because it will contribute to their future success. Provide your children there is support and encouragement to make them more confident. Don’t forget to tell them that you are proud of their achievements. 

Consider psychotherapy

As failure to launch syndrome can be caused by mental disorders, seek for professional help for your children. Make an appointment with a therapist if you think that your child may suffer from depression, addiction, or other mental health condition.

Failure to Launch Syndrome Help

So the most effective ways to deal with failure to launch syndrome is to set expectations and limits to adolescents, help them define short-term goals and create long-term plans. Making them partially responsible for family finances is also an important step towards getting rid of this  syndrome.

Adolescents should always have clear responsibilities and face consequences if they deny their duties. Also, turning to a therapist can treat conditions underlying failure to launch syndrome.

Anton Kurapov

Anton Kurapov

PhD, a professor assistant at Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. Fascinated by the role of psychology in lives of people and simply astonished by the complexity of the brain and its functions.

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