Author Topic: Failure to launch  (Read 3464 times)

Hula Hoop

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 952
  • Location: Italy
Failure to launch
« on: April 15, 2018, 02:25:26 AM »
Just let me preface this by saying that I have young kids so it's probably not my place to criticize other parents for this but in the grumpy spirit of the Antimustachian Wall of Shame, I've noticed that tons and tons of people I know have adult children who not only don't move out of home (which is fine, since I live in Italy where culturally kids tend not to move out until they are pretty old and starting pay at most jobs here is really horrible if you can find a job at all) but also don't work or look for work, do any kind of housework or cooking or generally behave like adult members of the family.  The particular case I'm thinking of is a 25 year old whose mother runs around doing everything for him and his sibling while he doesn't even look for a job.  I was at their house once when he was a little younger (maybe 18) and he was sitting on the couch and said "mum, coffee!" and his mother ran into the kitchen to make him some coffee.  My jaw was on the floor.  So now they are wondering why he's so depressed and overweight and sleeps until 1 and plays video games all night. 

This may be partly an Italian thing but I also know tons of Italian young people who work really hard for terrible pay and generally hustle to survive in a bad economy.  Some of them live at home with their parents but they work full time and contribute.  I also know several young men like the one described above back in the US.  The common theme seems to be parents (often mothers) who spoil them and continue to run around doing everything for them when they are fully grown adults.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2018, 02:43:43 AM by Hula Hoop »

Kimera757

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 91
Re: Failure to launch
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2018, 08:01:50 AM »
These stories draw a lot of attention, but most people that age work.

Many are desperate to move out and buy a house; they may be taking so long because their sights are set too high: they want a decent job, a house but not an apartment or condo, a car, a spouse, and want to pay off their student loans, all before they move out. Most graduates took out a student loan and that takes years to pay. Saving up for a down payment for a house takes years, unless you're helped out by the Bank of Mom & Dad. Not everyone finds a soulmate in school or right afterward. Not every educated person can easily find a job (every time I've applied for a "real job" there's always been lots of competition from other educated people). And so on.

katekat

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 950
Re: Failure to launch
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2018, 08:18:25 AM »
These stories draw a lot of attention, but most people that age work.

Many are desperate to move out and buy a house; they may be taking so long because their sights are set too high: they want a decent job, a house but not an apartment or condo, a car, a spouse, and want to pay off their student loans, all before they move out.

Bolded is the type of 'failure to launch' I'm more familiar with (UK if it matters). I dated one guy like this: he actually had a great job but his parents had never asked him to contribute financially to the household and it had enabled him to live beyond his means. He never wanted to rent, only buy, but he was living paycheque-to-paycheque (and with credit card debt) even whilst paying no rent, because his salary allowed him to own plenty of 'toys' (cars, boat, etc) as long as he didn't have any necessary expenses or put anything away for the future. Hedonic adaptation had basically trapped him with his parents. He paid lip service to wanting to save up and move out but I'm not sure he was really bothered about doing it. Not enough to give up the other stuff, anyway.

Long after we parted ways, he does actually have his own house now. So I guess as long as his parents were also happy with the arrangement, it's just different personalities/priorities and I shouldn't judge him for wanting to have all the 'stuff' and I guess wait for his salary to catch up so that he could have the 'stuff' and the house on a longer timetable than I would have liked. I only resent him for not saying that from the start.

Oh, and for the way that he didn't contribute to chores/housework at all and generally acted like his role in the house hadn't changed since he was a small kid. That was unpleasant/a turn-off for sure.

Hula Hoop

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 952
  • Location: Italy
Re: Failure to launch
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2018, 01:12:59 PM »
The people I'm talking about have never worked and are not looking for work.  They just sponge off their parents.  I certainly would never fault anyone for living at home with their parents in their 20s in a difficult economy like this one.  But in the case I'm thinking of the parents paid for the guy to go to an expensive private university in the big city, which cost them a lot of money in rent, living expenses etc (since the guy has never held a job even part time) and then he left the university without graduating and is now living at home rent free, not working and sleeping until 1 while his mother waits on him.  And I know several people like this.

I would have no problems with my kids living at home into their 20s but I would expect them to either have a job or study full time and to contribute somewhat to household expenses and housework.  And no way would I leap up and get my kid a coffee (or anything else) if they just shouled at me "mom, coffee!!"  I wouldn't even do it now and they are 9 and 6 - and absolutely no way when they are teenagers.

TrudgingAlong

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 177
Re: Failure to launch
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2018, 01:26:12 PM »
The psychology of the parents is the more interesting part of this for me. I totally understand the inner struggle of “am I helping too much, or not enough” that comes up constantly while parenting. This seems so extreme, though. Like, did these people always tell themselves they were bad parents if they weren’t doing everything for their kids? And then when they grew up, they couldn’t shake that habit?

Or is this more terror of empty nest syndrome, which I think occurs mostly because a SAHM often entertwines their identity with being a mother, kind of like men often make work their identity and have trouble when they leave it behind.

Maybe some nafarious combination of the two?
« Last Edit: April 16, 2018, 12:16:32 AM by TrudgingAlong »

Hula Hoop

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 952
  • Location: Italy
Re: Failure to launch
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2018, 01:59:55 PM »
Trudging - as a fellow parent, that's what interests me too.  I can kind of see how it happens as even now I find it hard sometimes to allow my kids to be independent and not do things for them that they could do themselves.  But it does seem extreme to me to do this with teens and young adults.  In the case I'm talking about the mother is a SAHM and a truly lovely person. 

Kimera757

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 91
Re: Failure to launch
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2018, 02:24:15 PM »
I wonder if Italian parenting is different than, say, Canadian or American parenting.

I live in Canada. When I was a kid I walked to school by myself (from age six, possibly earlier), then learned to take the bus, and so forth. A lot of parents today hover over kids past the age of twelve, refuse to let their kids walk to school (it might be impossible if you live in a "bedroom community" suburb), they're terrified of letting their kids take public transit (that place with a lot of witnesses, and at least in Canada security cameras)... and these are the same parents who walked themselves to school as kids (uphill, through the snow, both ways) while playing by themselves or with friends outside after school while their parents were at work. All of this due to fear. At least this is how things are in Canada and the US. I truly hope that's the only island of fear.

I think the parents in these scenarios are still scared for their now-adult kids. They won't throw them out as that kid who is incapable of getting an education or finding or getting a job would become homeless. Of course, the kid realizes they won't get kicked out, so they don't put in the effort. What will happen when their parents pass away? Perhaps the kids are expecting an inheritance.

I Googles Italian welfare. Here's a sample of what I found:

Quote
Parliament approved on Thursday an anti-poverty package aimed at providing financial relief to the growing number of hard-up Italians battered by years of economic stagnation and high unemployment.

It is the first such attempt in Italy to set up a permanent safety net for poor families, with the lion’s share of the national welfare budget traditionally earmarked for pensions.

...(snip)...

The government says it will offer up to 480 euros ($506) a month to the needy, favouring couples with young children and jobless people aged over 55. It has put aside 1.6 billion euros for 2017 and promises more funding in the years ahead.

The cash will come with strings attached, including demands that dependent children go to school, that they are vaccinated and that the unemployed commit to seeking a job.

In fact, welfare in Italy is so different from Canada and the US that at first I wondered if I was reading badly translated articles. In Ontario, Canada, a recently unemployed person can get over $2,000 per month on unemployment, but it only lasts nine months or so, and you have to have worked enough hours in the past year to get that. The pay rate is based on what you were paid before, too, so there's no guarantee that the payout will be that generous. Italy and the US have something similar, though I didn't follow up on details (eg duration, amount of payment).

Afterward (in Ontario) you could go on welfare, but that pays less than $700 per month, if you are a single employable adult with no children, which is just barely enough to live off of if you have roommates. This is apparently more generous than the proposed Italian plan ($506 per month, in USD, so probably about the same, but apparently for people with children). In Canada, you can stay on welfare until you "retire", although you have to (theoretically) prove that you looked for work.

Those "kids" should be reading up on Italian-language welfare articles and planning for their futures.

Hula Hoop

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 952
  • Location: Italy
Re: Failure to launch
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2018, 02:42:53 PM »
Yes, welfare here is usually considered to be the family. Too bad if you don't have a family who can support you though. It is also true that there is a ton of youth unemployment and even if you do find a job it's often very badly paid. So I'd never fault a young person here for living at home to save money.  What I find amazing though is a young adult who is not even looking for work or hustling all they can to make a few euros to pay their share.


honeybbq

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1120
  • Location: Seattle
Re: Failure to launch
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2018, 12:35:39 PM »
My step kids (2) are pretty much failures to launch, and a launched failure, respectively.

One still lives in his mother's basement. On occasion has odd jobs, on occasion has gone to school in the past (paid by us, not graduated). Mom pays for everything from what we can tell. Has enough tattoos and piercings and whatever to have bought his own house by now probably if he had saved the money instead.

The other kid launched but is floundering, living above her means, calling and begging for money. Calling and asking how to "figure out her budget" when she doesn't earn enough to pay her bills and still live the kind of lifestyle she wants. And mom still pays for her fancy iphone 7 and her car and her car insurance. Another college drop out who received all her college money and then spent it all and has nothing to show for it.

It's depressing. But there's little we (especially me) can do. We try to guide but usually we are just failures. A couple months ago the daughter begged for money to fix her car because she can't get to work when a part broke. Sent her the money, not even a thank you. Then she calls the next month trying to figure out how to afford her plane ticket to some other state to be a bridesmaid in a wedding (asking for more money). I told H never again. I hope he sticks with it this time.

Personally, I left my home when I was 17 and never moved back and never received any financial help other than a down payment loan from my brother which I paid back (with interest of course).

t


LiveLean

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 721
  • Location: Central Florida
    • ToLiveLean
Re: Failure to launch
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2018, 08:31:38 AM »
When you helicopter over your parents from birth, taking care of everything for them, not requiring any sort of work growing up as in previous generations (i.e. mowing lawns, babysitting, etc.), letting them spend their high school years without jobs or sports but rather video games and social media 24/7....this is the result.

We have sons, 15 and 12, and I live this fear every day. Thankfully DW and I take measures to make sure they do launch.

Slee_stack

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 853
Re: Failure to launch
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2018, 11:46:25 AM »
When you helicopter over your parents from birth, taking care of everything for them, not requiring any sort of work growing up as in previous generations (i.e. mowing lawns, babysitting, etc.), letting them spend their high school years without jobs or sports but rather video games and social media 24/7....this is the result.

We have sons, 15 and 12, and I live this fear every day. Thankfully DW and I take measures to make sure they do launch.
Just show them your 40 foot backyard trebuchet schematics you've been working on.  :D

mm1970

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6329
Re: Failure to launch
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2018, 12:33:17 PM »
When you helicopter over your parents from birth, taking care of everything for them, not requiring any sort of work growing up as in previous generations (i.e. mowing lawns, babysitting, etc.), letting them spend their high school years without jobs or sports but rather video games and social media 24/7....this is the result.

We have sons, 15 and 12, and I live this fear every day. Thankfully DW and I take measures to make sure they do launch.
Yep, we are working on this too.

My 12 year old heads to junior high in the fall.  "I want a new backpack"
Why?  It's in great condition (I bought one 4 years ago from LL Bean, that sucker is STRONG.  The previous 4 or 5 fell apart in a year.)
"It's bright green and has my  name on it and I don't like it"
It's dirty as crap (not bright green), and I can take the embroidered name off.
"I want a new one"
Fine, but you can buy it with your allowance.
"But I'm saving up for something else"
I don't care.  I'm not going to replace a perfectly good backpack.

I mean, I'm considering doubling his allowance and making him buy all his own clothing and shoes from now on.  Clothing NBD, he's a slob.  Shoes are going to bankrupt me.

acroy

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1702
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Dallas TX
    • SWAMI
Re: Failure to launch
« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2018, 12:43:55 PM »
When you helicopter over your parents (kids) from birth, taking care of everything for them, not requiring any sort of work growing up as in previous generations (i.e. mowing lawns, babysitting, etc.), letting them spend their high school years without jobs or sports but rather video games and social media 24/7....this is the result.
correction in bold above. Yes for the vast majority. A few are self-motivated and will launch themselves.

Italy is in bad shape... youth unemployment is 30%+ iirc and has been rising for a decade or more.

“Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.”  ― Robert A. Heinlein