Failure to Launch
Many parents worry about their adolescents having difficulty managing their time, taking care of themselves, making good decisions, and being responsible in a manner that will allow them to become responsible and successful adults.
Here are a few tips to help your adolescent achieve success and become a responsible adult:
1) Provide parenting interventions that help foster independence rather than just support your adolescent in the moment (see previous blog post “Parenting for Independence” for more information).
2)Take a realistic look at your adolescent’s difficulties and decide if it seems more age-appropriate or due to an issue in a specific domain. If you are unsure, seek a consultation from a psychologist or other professional.
3)Consider obtaining services for your adolescent to assist with their specific difficulties. Many of these issues can be effectively treated with weekly individual psychotherapy that provides practical strategies as well as works through any underlying emotional issue that could be affecting their functioning. In some instances, an executive functioning/ADHD coach or executive functioning/organizational skills tutor may be beneficial. If you are not sure if your adolescent would benefit from any of these services, seek out the appropriate professional for a consultation. If it turns out that your adolescent would not benefit from these services, this professional may be able to recommend other services that could assist you and your adolescent.
4) Participating in parent skills training with a psychologist or other mental heath professional can be helpful to assist you with developing and implementing age-appropriate parenting interventions to effectively assist your adolescent.
5) For young adults who have completed high school, but are struggling to get through college, have dropped out, or you worry about their ability to be successful in college, seek out services in the community that can assist your young adult. For extra support in college, organizations such as College Living Experience, which provide support services to help young adults be successful in college may be beneficial. For individuals with significant mental health/developmental issues, there are support programs for college or employment such as St. Luke’s House or Cornerstone Montgomery Inc. Individual psychotherapy or life skills coaching can also be helpful for such individuals.
These are just a few suggestions. In general, if you feel that your adolescent is struggling, seek a consultation with a qualified professional and find out if your adolescent would benefit from specific services. By getting services when your adolescent is younger, it increases the likelihood that they will develop the skills they need to be a successful and responsible adult.
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*Disclaimer: The previous information is intended as general guidance based on my professional opinion, does not constitute an established professional relationship, and should not replace the recommendations of a psychologist or other licensed professional with whom you initiate or maintain a professional relationship*