Adult Child Still Living At Home? How To Spot Failure To Launch

Watching your son be stuck at such a young age and exciting time in life can be defeating as a parent. It is important to remember that every situation is unique, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. It’s important to listen to your son’s needs and work together to find a solution that will help him over time. Failure to Launch can be a possibility for your son who is struggling to jump into adult life. 


This is where Forte Strong’s transitional residential program for young adults can be of help. We are the nation’s premier life coaching, therapy, and independent living program for young men, dedicated to treating failure to launch syndrome and the variety of individual challenges that contribute to it. Among the challenges coaches and therapists have successfully treated are social anxiety, avoidant personality disorder, depression, impulsivity, defiance, ADHD, low self-esteem, technology and video game addiction and other dependencies that keep young men from launching successfully. 

Beginning signs of Failure to Launch 

Failure to launch is a common issue among millennials, especially young men. Young men who experience failure to launch tend to move back in with their parents after trying unsuccessfully to live independently. They struggle to get a job or to keep it. They failed out of college or are currently struggling with their classes, even though they may have done fine in high school. 


They may have intense anxiety about doing adult tasks such as socializing with peers, holding a job, or driving. These young adults are typically motivated to stay at home, have no direction, and are unsure about what to do with their life. They may seek to escape from their discomfort by playing video games or distracting themselves in the virtual, digital world in order to avoid their problems in the here and now. They seek to avoid uncomfortable conversations. All in all, they have failed to launch into adulthood like other young adults their age have. It isn’t that these young men who struggle aren’t smart or capable; they just struggle to make it on their own for one reason or another.

Failure to Launch

Failure to Launch & Peter Pan syndrome

You may know someone who exhibits signs of not having a desire to grow up. You may notice it with a co-worker, a friend or a loved one. You should first understand what you mean when you describe someone with Peter Pan Syndrome

The following are a few example questions that may resonate with you if you have someone in your life who you believe has the disorder:

  • Are you frustrated by his lack of emotional, social and mental development?

  • Do you feel that the attribute that you initially found attractive in your partner is now causing you to feel like he’s not responsible enough, such as a laid-back and fun-loving personality?

  • Do you feel like sometimes you are talking to a teenager rather than a grown-up when you having a conversation with them about their feelings or future?

  • Do you find their behavior to be immature, irresponsible and unreliable?

  • Do they have child-like reactions to things you say about their behavior, and you feel like you have to work extra hard to then comfort them?

Signs and symptoms of Peter Pan Syndrome

Symptoms of the disorder include behaviors you may expect from a child, and when confronted, the individual may be resistant and deny the behavior. Due to the fact that it’s not clinically defined as a disorder, it may be hard to define someone with this disorder. Not everyone who exhibits one or a few of these behaviors will have Peter Pan Syndrome. It’s important to seek professional help if you notice these symptoms in yourself or someone you love to determine the root of the behaviors you note.

Video Game Addiction 

In this day of age, technology is at everyone’s fingertips and can lead to addictions, specifically a video game addiction. It is possible to play video games as a hobby, but when it starts to consume your entire life where you don’t focus on anything else, it becomes detrimental.

If your son is struggling with a video game addiction, he can get help at Forte Strong to overcome this addiction and develop the skills to become a responsible adult. Forte Strong is a national life coaching, therapy, and independent living program dedicated to teaching men the necessary skills to be independent.


It is common for young men experiencing Failure to Launch Syndrome to also have a video game addiction. While they isolate themselves from face-to-face social interactions, they can still have a social experience online by interacting with others online. These young men get their social fix by being challenged in video games to beat level challenges. On top of the challenge, they oftentimes will meet and chat with the other players online as they game.

Failure to Launch

Forte Strong transitional program for young adult males 


At Forte Strong, your son will learn a wide variety of skills that will be relevant for the rest of his life. These include both hard skills and soft skills. Your son will learn how to care for his home, including cooking, cleaning, and basic maintenance. He will also learn how to care for himself by planning and cooking healthy meals, establishing a basic hygiene routine, and learning the importance of physical fitness. Many young men that we help have never learned to budget either their time or their money, so that is a big focus. We also help men learn how to find a job and the basics of keeping a job, including setting goals and getting promoted.

Perhaps even more important that these physical skills are the soft skills that we teach. These skills help men overcome any challenges they may face in their life. Some of these skills are social skills, such as conflict resolution and effective communication. Some are emotional skills, such as anger management, stress management, and general emotion regulation. Some of our former failure to launch students have found the most value in learning skills such as leadership, self-confidence, and self-discipline. Our therapists and coaches work with each student to uncover which skills would be most helpful for them to develop and work with them every step of the way.



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