A lot of ink has been spilled about how young people today are struggling to transition from adolescence to adulthood. But these think pieces are often heavy on blame and light on solutions. My guest today takes an understanding approach to the difficulties of growing up, as well as offers practical strategies for facilitating the process. His name is Mark McConville, and he’s a family clinical psychologist who’s spent decades working with young clients and written a book on what he’s found does and doesn’t work in getting them to become more independent called Failure to Launch: Why Your Twentysomething Hasn’t Grown Up . . . and What to Do About It.
We begin our conversation with how Mark defines a failure to launch, when in his career he started to notice this issue in his young clients, and what factors are behind its prevalence. He then explains the idea of “emerging adulthood” and how it’s normal for it to take some time for a twenty-something to start feeling like a grown-up. Mark and I then unpack the three tasks a young person must master to transition to adulthood, which includes discussions of what prevents twenty-somethings from taking on grown-up responsibilities, how parents need to shift from a supervisory role to a consultant role, the importance of getting going in the right direction, and why young adults should treat life like a climbing wall. We end our conversation with advice to parents on the best way to motivate their kids to tackle the tasks of growing up.
Plenty of insights for both young adults and their parents in this episode.
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- What does “failure to launch” truly mean?
- Why are young people having a harder time transitioning to adulthood?
- What’s going on in the brain in the transition to adulthood
- The 3 tasks a young adult needs to master to become an adult
- Why the idea of responsibility encompasses more than you may initially think
- Normalizing the acquisition of life skills
- What parents of younger children can do to teach responsibility
- Moving from authority to consultant as a parent
- The false narrative of needing to have a perfect plan
- How to motivate your teen and adult children
- Why “tough love” is overrated
- Should parents give financial support to adult children?
Resources/People/Articles Mentioned in Podcast
- 10 Things I Would Do If I Were Twenty-One
- Don’t Waste Your Twenties Part I
- Don’t Waste Your Twenties Part II
- The Defining Decade
- The Unexpected Upsides of Being a Late Bloomer
- The Seasons of Man’s Life: Early Adulthood
- How to Avoid a 3-Car Pile-Up in Your 30s
- The Surprising Benefits of Marrying Young
- Good News! Your Life Isn’t Limitless
- Jeffrey Arnett and his book Emerging Adulthood
- 15 Maxims for Being a Reliable Man
- AoM’s “Heading Out On Your Own” Series
- How to Get Your Kids to Do Chores
Connect With Mark
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