Is it ADHD or something else?

69: What is Failure to Launch?

We have an epidemic of young adults who either failed to launch or never launched at all but we shouldn’t lose hope because there are things we can do.

With greater pressures and expectations placed on young adults in recent years, the transition of our kids from youth to adulthood has grown more challenging. At present, we have an epidemic of young adults who either failed to launch or never launched at all but we shouldn’t lose hope because there are things we can do.

It’s imperative for us to learn more about the failure to launch syndrome as resources regarding this matter remain to be limited. And that’s what we’ll be focusing on in today’s episode.

What is failure to launch and why is it such an epidemic?

Around ⅓ of the people in the United States from ages 18 to 34 still live at home with their parents. But this is not to say that everyone in that population experiences failure to launch. There are many reasons behind failure to launch. There are those who really want to live at home while some stay with their parents due to financial reasons.

Nowadays, we’re experiencing a surge of people who are failing to launch and some of them didn't even bother to launch. Although, some of them go to college. The longer an individual gets stuck, the harder it is to get out of it. That’s why there’s a need for us to assess this surge.

However, there aren’t a lot of resources for this which is why many people remain clueless as to what they should do. If you want to be part of our group for support, you can visit our Facebook group (

Typically, the reason why there is a failure to launch is because these children are financially dependent on their parents making them incapable of living on their own.

There are people experiencing failure to launch who are dealing with mental health issues which makes it difficult for them to launch. The common issues we encounter in relation to this when we support young adults are autism, Lyme’s Disease, OCD, PANS and PANDAS.

Parents tend to think that getting a job or going to college will solve the problem.

College is a tough journey and there are a lot of things to be done along the way. That is why there are many who completely fall apart when they go to college contributing to the number one reason why people leave college which is their mental health.

Parents tend to think that getting a job or going to college will solve the problem when in fact that’s not the appropriate fix. They think that if they just push them out, things will go right but in reality, that's not what happens when you have an untreated mental health issue.

What I often see in families is that there is poor communication which gives rise to many problems. It causes family members to shut down and even causes them to be avoidant and resistant to help. This also often causes low motivation or no motivation at all.

What are the signs and symptoms of failure to launch?

At the crux of failure to launch is typically a mental health issue that has not been properly addressed. And usually, parents don’t address the mental health issue of their kid because the latter’s grades are good. What we should do is to dig deeper and understand what’s happening with our kids.

Kids with failure to launch have a history of low stress tolerance and poor coping skills. That is so important to understand because good coping skills are going to serve you in every aspect of your life.

They also tend to have gaming addictions and other forms of addictions in place of friendships. Sometimes, because of the lack of healthy relationships, they fail to launch and depression sets in.

What’s my best tip for failure to launch?

My best tip I can give parents is to focus on parenting help. When kids are stuck because they are either avoidant or resistant to help, they need to get help in how to foster communication, how to support their stress tolerance, and also how to get in there slowly to do treatment and therapy.

I couldn’t emphasize this enough – it’s important to make sure that we've addressed the mental health issue first. Also, if you're a parent of somebody with a failure to launch, try getting therapy for yourself. If you can get your child to come with you then that’s even better.

It's important you need your own mental health support because it can be a very frightening journey. Get the right support and communication tools to help develop good mental health.

Links and Resources:

➡️ Join our FREE Natural Parenting Community to receive science-backed resources for your child and family. Join here.

➡️ Get help from Dr. Roseann and her team. Apply here. 

➡️ “Is it ADHD or something else?” Take the quiz. 

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