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Are you one of the millions of frustrated, exhausted parents whose adult child is still living at home with you? Like many in this situation, you might be feeling resentful that your adult son seems to think he’s entitled to meals, laundry and gas money when he does nothing but sleep and party. Or you get frustrated and angry when your 20+ daughter doesn’t pitch in around the house—or even take time to thank you for what you’re doing for her. When your kids were little, you probably expected and accepted the fact that they’d move out one day. So why does your child seem incapable of moving out on their own, and how do you handle it when they don’t? Before we can figure out what to do about adult kids who can’t launch, we have to look at why it’s happening to an entire generation of kids in the first place.

Kim Abraham and Marney Studaker–Cordner are experts in the areas of parenting, child behavior problems, O.D.D. and substance abuse, and they have worked with families for decades to help them resolve difficult issues, including how to help adult kids launch successfully. They are also the co–creators of Life Over the Influence, a new program to help families with loved ones who are struggling with substance abuse issues. This article is the first in a planned series by Kim and Marney in Empowering Parents on Adult Children Living at Home. They begin by explaining some of the main reasons why this situation has become such an epidemic.

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