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Ambitiously Lazy

Do you have a "troubled heart"? What does this even mean? Is it a heart break due to a unwanted recent break-up? Is it grief after loosing a loved one, or a home, or a job? Is it the way you look at your life and only can see the problems and not the possibilities?

I love when my clients, "Get it." They often come into therapy looking for answers, and sometimes don't even know what their questions are. They just know they are hurting and their hearts are troubled. I met one couple who sought answers to their relationship problems with their ADULT children. This is a common theme now-a-days as more and more adult children are not moving out of their parents' home in search of their own independence. They are quite content to remain at home where they have all the perks of home ownership without any of the responsibility. This is not a new problem. In the 2006 comedy, "Failure To Launch" starring Matthew McConaughey and Sara Jessica Parker (, Matthew's character is a 35 year old man (with commitment issues), lives with his parents and says to his friend, "It's going to take a stick of dynamite to get me out of my parent's house." Sara Jessica Parker is hired by his parents to get him out of their home. I know of many parents who feel "stuck" because they love their children, but want their own independence.

The other side of the coin is why are the adult children choosing to stay home with their parents? Well, there are several answers to this question:

  1. Financially many adult children drank the cool-aid about going to college will help you get a better paying job. There is no guarantee you'll be more qualified with a Bachelor's degree in anything than the next person. But it is certain if you attended a private university you'll have debt and huge monthly payments that will hold you back financially for up to 10-20 years.

  2. Emotionally, many adult children are not prepared because there is a lack of life skills training being offered in school or the home. People are not being taught to cook or clean, or how to run a washer or dryer, or even dishwasher. So, everyone is living on fast food or expensive restaurants which adds to their financial dependence on their parents.

  3. Young Parents/Single Mothers: Many generations are now living under the same roof at the same time. Young parents who can not afford to live on their own and "need help" raising their young children become relationally dependent on their parents. Some stay home for selfish reasons so they do not have to pay for baby-sitting, others remain because they never learned independence and now MUST be dependent.

  4. Culturally acceptable option to prepare for independent living. More people who live together can have combined resources and therefore more purchasing power to springboard young adults into home ownership.

Whatever the reason(s) for generations sticking together, there are pros and cons involved. It depends on your motivation. Are you moving toward something, avoiding responsibility, financially unprepared, or emotionally refusing to grow up? Once you understand the motivation behind the method, you can change the outcome.

If you need help understanding the ambitiously lazy, the purposefully poised, the career student, or any other label of preparing to launch, contact Encouragers Counseling & Training Centers.

“ Perseverance builds Endurance, Endurance builds Character, Character, hope.”

2 Corinthians 12:7

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