failure to launch, take 2

beerAs I suggested Monday, there are economic reasons why some young adults are still living in their parents’ basements. There may be some emotional and developmental ones as well.

According to Jeffrey Arnett, a psychology professor at Clark University in Worcester, MA, young adults are extending their journey of self-discovery up to a new “age 30 deadline.”

He calls this “emerging adulthood.” Arnett is hopeful, which is more than can be said for all the parents who are still paying for cell phones and car insurance. He told Time magazine, “emerging adults develop skills for daily living, gain a better understanding of who they are and what they want from life and begin to build a foundation for their adult lives.”


But perhaps sloth and a sense of entitlement are also factors, extending adolescence far beyond its historic boundaries. Peer dependency might contribute as well— the notion you can find out anything important by asking clueless friends.

The temptation to let others finance or enable ones own pleasure and idleness is great, a self-focus described by Shakespeare in his 62nd sonnet:

Sin of self-love possesseth all mine eye
And all my soul and all my every part;
And for this sin there is no remedy,
It is so grounded inward in my heart.

So yes, they may be “emerging.” Many are broke too. I get it. But growing up is a choice.

And not growing up is too. A very poor one.

[Comment?  Is this an economic problem?  A developmental issue? A spiritual one?]

Editor’s note:  a longer version of this post appears here and also in the book Tough Times.

2 thoughts on “failure to launch, take 2”

  1. I so do not understand this phenomenon. I left home two weeks after high school graduation, headed for Marine Corps boot camp. I could hardly wait to get on my own. The thought of living with my parents after high school simply freaked me out. I have a young relative living in his parent’s basement. I do not understand the motivation. At all.

  2. Tom—I don’t understand either. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by thedaysman and leaving a comment. I’ve suggested there may be legitimate reasons I don’t understand. And there may be some unfortunate ones if do. Motivation seems like an important word, though. Thanks.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s