The transition from adolescence into young adulthood can be difficult for some individuals. We see them move back home (or even live on their own), yet struggle to move forward or connect with new friends. As a result, they begin to isolate and withdraw from other people or meaningful activities and may begin to struggle with mood, anxiety and substance abuse. For many, they struggle to find a work/peer environment that replaces the structure they enjoyed in high school or college.
This does not mean, however, that they suffer from major depression or addiction. It may mean they are struggling to solve the problems at hand and that they are more vulnerable if they remain isolated or not engaged in meaningful and productive work.
As a parent, we may struggle with how to help the young adult move forward in life. We may feel obligated to offer them a place to live or offer them financial support. And for a short time, that may be a good strategy.However, if support is extended for too long, the emerging adult may develop sub-clinical mood and anxiety issues and turn to addictive substances to try and escape their uncertain future.
If you’re struggling with how to best support your emerging adult but feel you have nowhere to turn, please connect with us. We can help your son or daughter regain their independence and start back on their journey to a meaningful and productive life.
Young adults between the age of 18 and 28 sometimes struggle and feel stuck in the transition from adolescence to young adult. We do a lot of work with these individuals and their families and we commonly hear both the young adult and parents share that they feel that their child is “in between” trying to grow beyond the struggles of adolescence and beginning to feel independent and responsible for themselves. However, they still feel very closely dependent upon, connected to and relying on parents for financial and emotional support.
For many, what was planned to be a couple of months transition has turned into years as the young adult struggles to transition out of the home and into a life of their own.
Many of the challenges that these young adults wrestle with are normal and appropriate in the transition from youth to young adult, however, for a number of these individuals, that transition gets disrupted and they find themselves on a very different path. Many times, they wrestle with career choices, life purpose and the anxiety and worry of stepping out into the world on their own.
One of the challenges facing the young adult and the parents is the ability to strike the right balance between the individual pushing for independence and parents providing the right amount of support.
One of the challenges to navigate is that while the young adult is struggling with those issues, parents are also forced to communicate their own thoughts and feelings about their child’s struggle and come to an agreement about how to step in and help their child move forward. It’s often difficult for parents to end up on the same page and then step in with their young adult to consistently encourage and provide the appropriate amount of support for them to move through this transition. Sometimes we need other people to help us begin that process or to maintain the progress we have been able to achieve.