Failure to Thrive

The Failure to Thrive Describes My Teen


Is there help for young adults that are unmotivated to thrive?


According to Psychology Today, Failure to Launch syndrome refers to young adults who are having trouble becoming self-sufficient and taking on adult responsibilities.


There are myriad factors that could contribute to failure to launch syndrome. For some young adults the cause is environmental, while for many others it is mental health related.


Parenting styles, the family experience, and the parent-child relationship can all be factors in the development of failure to launch.


Failure to launch syndrome is not technically a syndrome, but instead it is a term used to describe young adults who do not venture out on their own when they reach adulthood. Individuals who have failure to launch syndrome struggle to leave their parents’ or caregivers’ home in order to begin their own lives.


Some struggles that young adults have:


  • Depression and Anxiety Disorders
  • Limited Distress Tolerance, Impulsivity, and Entitlement
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Relational/family conflicts
  • Adoption/Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD)
  • Negative Peer Group Problems
  • Video and Internet Addiction
  • Poor Judgement
  • Substance use/self-medicating


Also they can be having challenges with:


  • Academic/underachieving
  • Social Development and Communication Skills
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Low Self Esteem and Poor Self Confidence
  • Lack of Motivation
  • Poor work ethic
  • Poor Decision Making
  • Trauma
  • Grief and Loss


Getting Help


If you are a parent that is completely frustrated (and saddened) as well as at your wit’s end with your young adult and their failure to move forward in life, there are programs specially designed to help them get back on the right track.


Life Skills Programs for young adults (17-21) years old can offer the following ways to help stimulate your child in a positive direction and give them a second opportunity at bright future:


    • Therapy through emotional growth. A young adult displaying a level of resistance to school or work will need to address the underlying causes in therapy. This is sometimes easier after leaving the comforts of their home environment outside peer influences.
    • Building encouragement through a positive peer environment. Expressing frustration and anger with your child will likely make them feel worse and increase failure to launch behaviors.
    • Structure. Help your young adult find the right balance between staying busy and having down time.
    • Goal setting through mentorship and internship programs.
    • Accountability through basic life skills of chores, hygiene, financial literacy, culinary skills, healthy diet decisions and more.
    • Enrichment programs that can range from caring for animals, woodshop, landscaping, farming, arts and music, community volunteer work, gardening and more.
    • Education – from finishing high school to starting college classes or enrolling in vocational training, every student has an opportunity to learn.


Life Skills Program can equip your child with coping skills to deal with adversity and change that real-life can throw at them, as well as help students identify who they are by what they can do, rather than what they have done.


These young adult programs range in tuition. If you have PPO insurance, sometimes it will cover a portion of the clinical component of the program — depending on your policy.


Please contact us for more information on young adult programs.