In 2006, a movie called Failure to Launch starred Matthew McConaughey as a 35-year-old man that was still living at home with his parents. Failure to Launch is a rom-com that seemed incredibly ridiculous in 2006, and it made for some good laughs. But now in 2019, it seems that failing to launch has become an epidemic, particularly with young men.
Martha Irvine points out that “federal statistics show that young men are, for instance, nearly twice as likely to live at home with their parents than young women their age. They're also less likely to finish college, or to have a job.” So, what is plaguing our boys, why do we find that so many of them are having such a difficult time launching into adulthood?
The answer is, quite frankly, there are many reasons for this: influence of/obsession with social media, a public school system that is not adequately preparing boys for their future, a devaluing of masculinity in our culture, etc. But it seems one tangible issue that we can practically address is teaching our boys that failure is okay.
Michael Simon, a licensed marriage and family therapist says, "I could go on and on about kids in third grade with four tutors - or parents doing the homework for them. At every turn, the parents are there trying to put some kind of helmet on their kid, metaphorical or otherwise. These parents are well-meaning, but they end up short-changing their children because they don't know how to fail, or to bounce back from failure.”
The reality is failure is simply part of life - it is one of the greatest teaching tools. Henry Ford reminds us that “failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” We become smarter and more resilient people when we are allowed to fail. So, parents let your boys fail, because when you are letting them fail, your letting them learn.
If you have a young man in your life that has failed to launch and is ready to move forward, we can help. Contact Mat Yelvington at 713.987.3161 ext 107.