Simplifying Science

Building a Launchpad

Joy used to be the buzzword of good parenting, but that was so 2017. Next came resilience, or grit for those who wanted to trade up with a four-letter version. Now, especially as high school graduates set themselves to fly off to college, it’s launching. Or rather, failure to launch. As in: they’re all grown up but they don’t know how to navigate anything on their own.

If you want to avoid a panicked transition out of the house, or even if you are just looking to build independence (buzzword of 2020?) slowly and steadily, read this piece. And then begin to implement elements, depending upon the ages of your kids, where you live, and the realities of your logistical life. At the very least, all of our kids can get better at helping around the house (case in point: what used to be called chores are really baby steps toward doing it on one’s own... not to mention, there’s research showing big benefits to household work by the kids).

Ultimately, a successful launch means we have raised kids who can eventually take care of themselves. While getting there might take some grit, the outcome brings everyone joy.


Sarah Clark was happy to get the call from her college teen, but couldn't believe what she was hearing.

"My kid called from college and said, 'I'm sick, what should I do?'" Clark said. "I'm like, what do you mean what do you do? You have a drug store down the street. Go have at it."

A new poll co-directed by Clark found that there are a lot of parents in the same boat. Most parents think they are doing enough to prepare their teens for adulthood, but they're…READ MORE