KuelLife Logo home 1000

How To Help Adult Children Who Fail Out Of College

Kim Muench July 2023

Kim Muench, Becoming Me Thought Leader

Dear Kim, Please help me gain some perspective and direction to help my daughter who has failed out of college.

Children Who Fail Out Of College:

She keeps sabotaging everything she is going to do. For example, registering for classes, she misses the deadlines to sign up. Or, refusing to contact professors to get help or ask questions. Some other examples in other areas of her life include, not wanting to change up her resume to look for a job.

She was told to volunteer first in the organization she wants to work for but then refuses to sign up. To add, she is on medication for depression and anxiety. As a result, she’s gained a lot of weight rather quickly and I believe this is affecting her self-image. I’m concerned about her physical health.

She has done nothing in the last year at school. We are stuck in a lease until June. She is now coming home because we refuse to sign another lease and she blames me for everything that has gone wrong.

“Parents stuck in a tough spot watching their young adult making unhealthy choices..”

I worry about her coming home because her mood can go from sweet to hurtful in minutes. She is very smart but lacks motivation and doesn’t understand her potential. She is currently dating a nice young man with a bright future. I’m afraid she might lose him and fall in a deeper depression. To boot, she has lost all her friends in college and blames them for not wanting to continue the relationships. Her father and I are helpless and heartbroken, we don’t know what to do anymore. I appreciate your guidance!

My Response:

It’s unfortunate but not uncommon for me to receive inquiries like this one weekly. Parents stuck in a tough spot watching their young adult making unhealthy choices and not moving forward in one way or another in their lives. You know I am passionate about supporting parents of young adults, and I too am in the middle of parenting young adults in transition to independent adulthood.

Because of this, I am constantly looking for good resources and I’d like to share two books I recently read that I feel are very helpful resources for parents of 18+. The books are written by two well-respected American psychologists. You and Your Adult Child-How to grow together in challenging times by Dr. Laurence Steinberg and Failure to Launch and Why Your Twentysomething Hasn’t Grown Up and What To Do About It by Dr. Mark McConville.

Step one, read or listen to these books, then go from there! Knowledge is power as they say.


Did you enjoy this article? Become a Kuel Life Member today to support our Community. Sign-up for our Sunday newsletter and get your content delivered straight to your inbox.

Kim Muench Becoming Me

About the Author:

Kim Muench (pronounced minch, like pinch with an “m”) is a Jai (rhymes with buy) Institute for Parenting Certified Conscious Parenting Coach who specializes in working with mothers of adolescents (ages 10+). Knowing moms are the emotional barometer in their families, Kim is passionate about educating, supporting and encouraging her clients to raise their children with intention and guidance rather than fear and control. Kim’s three plus decades parenting five children and years of coaching other parents empowers her to lead her clients into healthier, happier, more functional relationships with compassion and without judgment. 

You can find out more about her mission and services at www.reallifeparentguide.com. She is on Facebook at Real Life Parent Guide, Instagram, and on LinkedIn as well.