Is Your Adult Child Failing to Launch or a Victim of the Recession?

Posted on February 6, 2012 by Alie

Normally, it's fairly easy to spot a typical "failure to launch" case. It looks something like this: young adult moves home, sleeps incessantly, lounges at the country club and lives off of his parents' dime. The general picture that describes these cases is that of pure laziness.

These days, however, it can be tricky to tell whether a college grad is failing to launch due to laziness or because he is unable, despite his efforts, to find work and get fairly compensated for it. The truth is, only you, the parent, really knows what your adult child is doing all day and can decipher whether she needs motivation or needs (and deserves) a job offer.

In October of 2011, just 74% of young adults between the ages of 25 and 34 were working. Even a lot of employed young adults, however, are forced to live with their parents because they don't make enough money to support themselves.

Others who are living at home and aren't fortunate enough to find work may appear to outsiders as though they're mooching off of their parents, but in reality, they could be having really tough luck in this job market.

A survey done by Twentysomething Inc. last May reported that 85% of college graduates are moving back in with their parents and that only 46% of people under the age of 25 are employed.

So think of it this way: if your adult child is living at home and is unemployed, despite the fact that she spends hours a day sending out her resume and interviewing, she is not failing to launch. If she is lazing on the couch eating Ho Hos and watching soap operas all day, she is failing to launch.

What is crucial for parents to keep in mind during difficult times with their young adult children is the root cause of the problem. Is the cause apathy or is the cause the horrific job market? If it's the former, that's what we're here for. If it's the latter, well, your child is going to need your continued guidance and support. You may not have ever imagined that your successful college graduate would be back in his twin bed, but believe us, he is most likely making every effort to get out.