Thursday, May 04, 2017

Moms of Millennials are Worried about their Failure to Launch

With Mother's Day just around the corner, a new survey has come out suggesting being a "helicopter parent" may have back-fired.  For the record, a helicopter parent is defined as "a parent who takes an overprotective or excessive interest in the life of their child or children." 

Parents, who spent years hovering over every aspect of the lives of their now-grown millennials, are now seeing the results of their actions.  According to a survey of 1000 mothers, conducted by the NHP Foundation, 63 percent said they don't believe their adult children are fully prepared to live on their own.  Only 30 percent of moms said their millennial offspring who live with them are actively looking for other places to live and less than half (41 percent) say their kids pay rent.  The good news from the survey indicates 65 percent of the millennials, who still live at home with their parents, are employed.

So what's driving mom's concerns?  The survey says a whopping 90 percent are concerned about rising housing costs but only a third of the moms said they would co-sign a loan for their children and 24 percent would help subsidize rent or a mortgage.  Nearly 36 percent said they are prepared to help their adult children financially in any way.  Add to this the fact that nearly 40 percent of moms in the survey said they have no confidence that the Trump administration will make affordable housing a priority.

Although this survey expresses the fears and concerns of moms of millennials, there is another telling piece to this.  Parents of millennials must point the fingers at themselves for creating children who don't feel prepared to take on adult responsibilities.  Indiana University psychologist Chris Meno says, "When children aren't given the space to struggle through things on their own, they don't learn to problem-solve very well. They don't learn to be confident in their own abilities, and it can affect their self-esteem. The other problem with never having to struggle is that you never experience failure and can develop an overwhelming fear of failure and of disappointing others. Both the low self-confidence and the fear of failure can lead to depression or anxiety."

Dr. Deborah Gilboa, Founder of, says "Engaged parenting has many benefits for a child, such as increasing feelings of love and acceptance, building self-confidence, and providing guidance and opportunities to grow. The problem is that, once parenting becomes governed by fear and decisions based on what might happen, it is hard to keep in mind all the things kids learn when we are not right next to them or guiding each step."

Failure and challenges teach kids new skills, and, most important, teach kids that they can handle failure and challenges. 

Perhaps these moms are feeling what it's like to reap what you sow.

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