It’s amazing to consider, but 52% of young adults live with their parents at this point, it’s the highest percentage since the Great Depression! I guess looking around, the pandemic seems to have made this inevitable, but it’s still a stunning figure.

We live on a street that loops around in a circle and there’s a college-aged kid who I swear just does laps on the circle all day, walking with his head down on his cell phone with a look of slight bitterness and obvious dissociation. I fear he may be losing his mind. In a way, his case may represent the situation for a generation of young adults during the pandemic: looping the circle around their home in perpetuity while the circuits of their brains deteriorate…

How can we helps this generation with an eroded job market, eroded self-esteem, and most of all, eroded social-emotional skills?

I recently had a friend have to move back in with her parents due to the fires in California (their home became uninhabitable). The friend was my age, so late 30s and had a couple of kids and a husband. She reported that it took her about 4 hours to return to the pathology of her adolescence living in her childhood home: the same cycles in power-struggle, in identity, in autonomy. For some small minority of the population, living with their parents is a joy, they just seem to get along blissfully. I’m personally not sure how. But for the rest of us, being literally boxed into the corner where we were 16 is pretty limiting.

They’ve got to get out of that space, however it can happen, which is really, really difficult in the pandemic, but should loosen up in the spring and summer (we all hope…). Here are some thoughts on what those folks can do:

  1. Gap year programs: (virtual or regular)
  2. Have a teen with anxiety or depression? How about “The Dorm” in Manhattan
  3. Got a young adult stuck inside on screens all day? How about a “Wilderness Program“?
  4. How about “Transitional Living” housing situation for ‘failure to launch’ young adults?
  5. Want the perfect solution for a tricky case? Talk to Myrna Harris Kramer and tell them I sent you. They’re the best in the business.

Best of luck in finding the right path for your young adult. With any luck you can get them on the right path as we move out of the pandemic and back to new reality with more space for them find their own independent lives.