Help for struggling young adults has become a growing concern among parents across the country. Whether it’s a loss of direction, lack of social skills, substance use or simply a failure to launch, some young adults seem stuck.
One simple online search for “failure to launch programs for young adults” will yield over 48 million results, but what can they offer your child?
Are you concerned for your young adult and feel like you are running out of time? Are they 18 years-old or over and you fear they won’t be willing to get help?
One of the most common frustrations for parents of a young adult teenager that needs motivation and life skills, is many of the programs are focused on 12-step recovery, which is mainly for people struggling with substance abuse. That is not your young adult and placing them out of their element may cause more issues.
Is your young adult:
-Defiant, angry, rage
-Addicted to video gaming, cell-phone
-Depression, withdrawn, anxiety
–ADHD, ADD, ODD, RAD
-Facing expulsion or wants to drop out of school
-Social anxiety, socially awkward
–Stealing from you or others
-Moody, disrespectful – more than an average teen
-Drifted from family values
-Low self-worth, no motivation
-Negative peer group, or loneliness
-Refuses to talk about goals or the future
-Job loss, can’t keep a job
-Failing to thrive in general
If you are struggling with several of these behaviors with your young adult at home, it’s likely you are searching for help. Trying to convince a young adult to attend a counseling session is sometimes impossible — which makes outpatient treatment not always an option.
It can be extremely frustrating to watch your young adult making these poor choices.
How to Help a Young Adult Teenager
Your child needs help, he/she is refusing all your options you have offered them — you may have even bargained with them by buying them a car, and yet they are still floundering and failing to launch.
It’s very possible they are struggling with mental health issues such as depression, anxiety and other emotional things that makes them unable to make good decisions.
Considering a life skills program for your young adult is not only your decision, but they have to be (somewhat) on board too — after-all, they are an adult.
Before you stop reading, don’t fret — the majority of parents are able to convince their young adult to attend.
The truth is, no one likes living in constant turmoil (including your child), and whether they make the decision to enroll immediately, or when they are faced with consequences that they end up choosing the program (rather than facing jailtime or being homeless) — it’s important for you to know the benefits of how a life skills program benefits your struggling young adult.
Life skills programs are about building self-worth — through emotional growth (clinical), education (academically, if needed), and enrichment programs (behavior therapy).
Many of these programs are located on ranch settings or in nature and are designed to encourage positive change through consistency and mentorship. The best part is many don’t frighten your young adult with a long-term commitment – typically they need to commit to 30-90 days, yet they end up staying about 4-5 months once they start feeling good about themselves and are surrounded by mentors and a positive peer culture.
5 Ways a Life Skills Programs Help Your Young Adult Teen Thrive
1. Emotional growth through therapy.
A young adult, in many situations, has refused therapy at home or was not engaging with their counselor. After leaving the comforts of their home environment, as well as the outside peer influences — they will be better able to address their underlying causes of their emotional distress in therapy. They will learn coping skills through anger and stress management classes, as well gain the the benefits of group therapy.
2. Goal setting.
Goal setting is a great opportunity for your young adult, without the distractions of family and peers, to focus on their future through positive mentorship programs and internships. Most of life skills programs teach financial literacy which is extremely important for young people and their future.
3. Enrichment programs.
Enrichment programs are in place to stimulate your young adult in a positive direction — it’s a therapy without feeling like therapy. It can range from caring for animals, woodshop, landscaping, sports, farming, arts and music, community volunteer work, gardening and more. Never doubt the positive impact of these programs on a person’s mental wellbeing.
Has your young adult decided to leave school? Whether it is high school or college, life skills programs will give them the opportunity to finish high school, resume college core classes — or if they are interested in a trade, most will try to find a local mentorship program for them.
5. Structure and accountability.
This is a great chance to help your young adult find the right balance between staying busy and having down time. As with most young people, accountability was never a strong point. Through basic life skills of chores, hygiene, financial literacy, culinary skills, healthy diet decisions and more, your young adult will eventually mature into responsible person.
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.