In recent years, the phenomenon of adult children reaching ages normally associated with independence but still refusing to leave home has been growing exponentially. Parents across the country are trying to deal with this problem, and are often struggling to make substantial progress. However, it is also important to remember that the parents are often implicit in allowing this situation to form. Many people dealing with this problem have made at lease one of the following three mistakes.
1 - They think it's just a phase - Parents dealing with this problem will often fail to take action quickly, writing the behavior off as a simple stage that will quickly be outgrown. Unfortunately, this initial complacency allows the behavior patterns to become ingrained, and this makes the eventual struggle to get the child to assert their independence even more difficult. If you find yourself in this situation, it is essential that you don't make this mistake. Act as quickly as possible to ensure that your son or daughter realizes that it is not acceptable for them to continue to live at home as adults.
2 - They are afraid their child will feel unloved - Parents often value the bond they have with their children above all else in their lives. These feelings are natural, but can sometimes get in the way of making decisions that are actually in the child's best interests. In this case, parents who don't want their child to feel unloved may hesitate to force them to be independent and allow them to continue to live at home long after they should have moved out. This simply stunts their son or daughters development and gets in the way of everyone involved leading happy and successful lives.
3 - They honestly believe that they are helping - Some parents honestly believe that their children need the incredibly high level of support and care that they provide while allowing them to remain living at home into adulthood. What these parents need to realize is that they are simply serving as a crutch that is preventing their child from living up to their full potential.
If you are interested in reading further about this subject, check out this article by Michael S. Broder, PH.D.