Failure to Launch is a real struggle more and more young adults experience every year.  What this means is more & more of them are not equipped for independent living.  And these adolescents panic when faced with transitioning into adulthood.  Adulthood comes with challenges created by greater independence and responsibility. It is a time when young adults look to find significance, purpose, and independence in their lives.  People use a failure to launch program to provide help during these times of need. 

Failing to launch puts  young adults at risk  of a timely transition into adulthood. This is because they lack the skills required to be independent from their parents.  They begin falling behind their peers and end up leaving college or back home with their parents.  In fact, they may not have left home yet and have no clear plan to leave.  As a result they miss developing essential skills and sound judgment.  The results sometimes lead to: substance abuse, , social anxiety, and low self-esteem. 

These young adults have a fear of failure and we help them overcome it.  Failure to launch programs can give them the challenges they need to gain confidence. Penrith Farms will introduce students to a working farm.  For this reason, we expect all students to take part in daily activities, chores, and life.  Work  will give these students pride and a chance to overcome new challenges. 


While we talk about failure to launch, we sometimes forget to describe what is success. It is best to think of a successful launch as transitioning into adulthood.  And we define adulthood as education, career, marriage, and family.  A successful launch we would define as being on that path and working towards those goals. 

To avoid a failure to launch we all need social and/or learning skills. Acquisition of these skills is the beginning of the path towards adulthood. This process starts during childhood beginning with parental attachment. As a child’s environment becomes more complex they begin dealing with different challenges. 

Children have to face the big questions of:  Who am I?  What is my sexuality?  What concerns me outside of self? As children grow up they begin to answer these questions and determine what is next.  Now for us to succeed we need to learn to believe in our own abilities during adolescence. Following this they prepare for adulthood. 


Our failure to launch program pulls young adults into the present. That is to say: no dwelling on the past, worrying about the future, or more probable,  digital escapism.  Students will wake up early every morning except on Sundays and Holidays. Our schedule doesn’t allow the escape of television, internet, or games.  But it will give the opportunity to work and interact with other people that aren’t of like-mind.  This type of interaction is another part of being an adult which is our end goal. 

We look to form goals with our clients when they arrive at Penrith Farms.  Is the goal to complete school whether that be high school or college?  Do we want to work on getting and holding a job?  Is the goal independent living?  What defines success? These are the types of questions young adults need to answer. 

Young adults get sent to 12-step programs & treated as addicts when they are usually just unmotivated.  They need engagement & to experience adversity alone in their lives.  They must overcome challenges alone to be successful in today’s competitive world. Students will face these tests at Penrith Farms. 

Young adults that fail to transition into adulthood need more responsibility. Parents can hire a life coach or use an individual therapist.  They may even send them to a failure to launch treatment program.  It is important to provide familial support, accountability, and natural consequences. In the end, that’s what we do at Penrith Farms and it leads to a successful launch. 


When I first heard “Failure to Launch,” I thought it was in reference to the movie. The term has come to mean much more and the movie portrays it but romanticized. It is a real struggle for those lacking the ability to transition into adulthood.  The reality of the situation impacts young adults and parents.  Parents watch their children struggle to find meaning, purpose, and accomplishment. 

The situation can be an emotional and financial drain on parents.  It is draining to see their child isn’t independent, lacks schooling, and/or has no desire to change.  In the wake of it all young adults may abuse illicit substances, and suffer from mental health issues.  But what makes these young adults any different than their peers that have gone on to be more successful? 

High School is easy for some but college requires more effort.  When they work harder than usual they question their own intelligence and self-worth. The pressure of college admittance and adversity causes some young adults to give in.  Helicopter parents  create children with no experience overcoming adversity.  Because they never learn resilience as they age the stakes get higher and higher.  Whatever the real cause is there are some things that hold true. 


Currently over half of all 18 to 24 year-olds in the United States are living with their parents.  Between 2007 – 2010 adult children living at home increased by 1.2 million.  So some never leave home and some are returning after failing or feeling like they failed away from home. Why do they never leave or why do they come back home? Because it is safe.  Now this isn’t to say all situations are the same. There are two types of young adults still living at home. There is someone that is responsible and contributes while taking time to move out. And there is a young adult that expects you to take care of all their needs. It is the failure to launch that concerns us under these circumstances. 

Being on one’s own creates stress and anxiety that can sometimes be overwhelming.  Helicoptering  compounds this problem as young adults never experience responsibility or making decisions. Parents do not allow their children to develop independence because of fear.  Over time they haven’t learned to solve problems themselves because “adults” are fixing things for them.  What your young adult needs is what our failure to launch program can provide.  We can help you develop independence in your son or daughter. 


Adulthood requires the motivation to be an adult. Acting upon that motivation and development of long term goals. Being clear about these goals and the ability to stay focused on these goals. The ability to be resilient when one meets challenges or failure in pursuit of one’s goals. In short, if a child comes out of adolescence motivated to be independent, trying to become independent, developing long term goals, staying focused on these goals and not being derailed, and resiliency in the face adversity we would say that an individual is successfully launching and is on their way towards completing the transition into adulthood. 

At Penrith Farms we focus on identifying where an individual got lost and to help them transition.  So we do this by teaching life skills, providing individual and group  counseling, and participation in our young adult program. 

A break from the dependency is what your young adult needs from you. If you are unable to break the dependency yourself it is okay to get help. That is what many failure to launch programs do. They help parents break their young adults dependency on them.  They give them the confidence and life skills necessary to transition into adulthood.  We hope you will give Penrith Farms the opportunity to help you with your challenges.  We look forward to meeting your family.