In recent years, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of young people who are unable to begin their lives as independent adults away from the relative comforts of their families. They refuse to engage in activities that commonly define being an adult, such as higher education or employment, and this behavior is often associated with problems of depression, isolation, and sometimes substance abuse.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, as of July 2022, more than half (58%) of young adults defined as ages 18-24 were living with their parents.
Psychologist Dan Kiley popularized the term “Peter Pan Syndrome” in his 1983 book. Peter Pan Syndrome: Men Who Never Grow Uplike J.M. Barry’s theatrical classic, after realizing that many of the troubled teenage boys he treated had trouble growing up and accepting adult responsibility. Failed launches have been shown to affect men more commonly than women.
The stereotype of men who live in the attic invites insults such as “losers,” but the phenomenon is more complex than the simplified label suggests, and its origins can be obscure.
Newsweek Mother and author Shari Jonas has over 500,000 views on her failed TikTok, and John McGeehan is the founder and CEO of The Dorm, an organization that helps young people become independent. is.
What is launch failure?
McGeehan defines launch failure as “adults (ages 18 to late 20s and beyond) who struggle to achieve socially constructed ‘adult’ behavior”. [their] Live at home, work full time, live alone. “
People who are unable to tackle the most basic elements of being an adult and those who choose to live with their parents because they have higher education and save money to deposit in their own home. It is important to distinguish between people who choose. Low pay or caregiving responsibilities. A person in this situation is moving towards life and ultimately self-reliance.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many homes and jobs to be lost, but the March 2020 Current Population Survey found an estimated 60% of men aged 18 to 24 and 22 men aged 25 to 34 % reported living at home. Lockdowns were not in full swing at this point, and California became the first state to issue a stay-at-home order that same month.
However, McGeehan said the term ‘launch failure’ is Eurocentric and has become “limiting to other cultures and ways of life. It is unfair to use it as a label for For all families and young people. “
Jonas agrees, citing the following behaviors as evidence that a person may be suffering from boot failure:
- absolutely irresponsible
- Zero contribution to housework
- Lack of confidence/ambition/motivation to live independently
- Have trouble coping with rejection and become socially withdrawn
- Resisting opportunities to seek help and shifting responsibility to others
What causes boot failure?
A failed launch is not a medically diagnosable condition, but rather a symptom of a complex combination of factors, some unavoidable and some avoidable. Parenting, mental health, trauma, and underlying medical conditions are some of the ingredients in a cocktail that can result in adults struggling to prepare themselves for independence.
“It’s rarely out of the ordinary,” says Jonas. “To go from failure to actual launch, there are things to consider. Parents have to be held accountable for their parenting style if the launch fails. Why is this 30-year-old doing the dishes? Why wouldn’t they want to use the machine or cook for themselves? I’m here.
Merriam Webster defines a helicopter parent as a parent who is overly involved in a child’s life, and a bulldozer parent as someone who removes obstacles that can lead to frustration and frustration in a child.
McGeehan said The Dorm “supports many young people who struggle at this stage of development and have complex diagnostic concerns such as anxiety, depression, mood disorders, OCD and ADHD.” I’m explaining.
Social and financial problems mean mental health issues are at an all-time high, and McGeehan argues that parents dealing with failed launches are often overlooked.
What is the impact of a failed boot?
Feelings of shame, anger, frustration, and denial surround the family.
“Over time, when someone tells you that you failed or convinces yourself, you start believing it,” says McGeehan. “Being a ‘failure’ becomes their identity. The shame and embarrassment felt by parents and families is also projected onto the child and builds up, exacerbating the situation. Ultimately, it could have been prevented.” It could be a self-fulfilling prophecy that should have been.”
McGeehan also emphasizes that multigenerational living is the norm in some cultures. Many cultures are less likely to see children living at home as a problem, as they may be part of their heritage and way of life. Blaming can have a dangerous effect on these cultures and children.Judged and discredited.
Young adults experiencing a failed start-up have a hard time, but the impact of their actions ultimately has a ripple effect on everyone around them.
“Parents are often afraid,” says Jonas. “Their adult children lash out. They can be violent, persistent, aggressive and not kind. Parents are frightened and all discipline goes out the window.”
“Many parents feel guilty for allowing their actions. And secondly, while you’re doing the laundry, all your friends are celebrating their grown-up kid’s accomplishments.” You don’t have to admit what you’ve done because they’re in denial, you fail, you close your eyes and hope it resolves itself.”
A group that is most often overlooked when a scenario fails to launch is siblings.
“A failed launch is really, really hard on the brothers,” said Jonas. “Imagine how it feels. They took the leap, they did what they had to do, they struggled, and then they watched their brother just sit there and wait.”
She adds that tensions can build when parents don’t pay attention to independent children and don’t have enough money left to support them if they need it.
McGeehan also said that the younger siblings who live at home “feel the need to be parents and be hero kids, or to pay attention to them like a parent is 100 percent focused on the other siblings.” We can act to direct
How to overcome boot failure
Despite the complexity of a failed launch, there are things you can do, depending on the severity of your mental health and addiction problems.
“First of all, parents need to start talking honestly and openly about what happened and what is happening.
“You don’t have to take drastic measures overnight, but at least you don’t have to stop doing what you’ve been doing. Stop cleaning, cooking, doing laundry, giving money. Write contracts with realistic goals and timeframes.” Create , non-negotiables, outcomes, expectations.
“My advice to adults is to stop blaming the world and stop being mad at your parents and siblings. Adults are a part of life and you can’t get past it forever.”
Parents who are unable to have children end up doing a lot for their children, and even with the best of intentions, make things worse and enable the behavior of adult children.
“I tell parents to let their children experience the natural consequences of their actions. It is imperative that young adults feel and experience the consequences of their actions. can be equated to creating an independent environment while the child lives in. At home: cooking a set number of meals, seeing a doctor, doing your own laundry, etc. to the children.”
“We love the fact that we can do something about it,” concludes Jonas. It’s hard to break the pattern, but I love this phrase: “Be scared and do it.”
If you have a similar family dilemma, let us know at email@example.com. You can ask an expert for advice. Your story may be published in Newsweek.