Excerpted from The Launching Years by Laura
S. Kastner, Ph.D., and Jennifer Wyatt, Ph.D.
© 2002 by Laura Kastner, Ph.D., and Jennifer Wyatt, Ph.D..
Excerpted by permission of Three Rivers Press, a division of Random
House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be
reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Introduction: Going on Tilt
During a two-year period beginning with the senior
year of high school, most parents find themselves confounded by
unanticipated challenges. “Why are my daughter and I fighting
like cats and dogs now that she’s about to leave?” a
mother might ask. “I can’t make one request, remark,
or recommendation without infuriating my senior. Whether it’s
college application issues, homework, or his social life, he expects
to be treated as an adult, but is there no parenting role left for
me anymore?” another might wonder.
- You’re beside yourself over the application process but
your senior is doing nothing except procrastinate;
- Your senior, whose learning issues suggest a different timetable,
looks as if he’s trying NOT to graduate;
- You’re puzzling over what launching means to you personally,
since over the last 18 years three-quarters of your life has revolved
- Your just-graduated daughter, who has always been so perfect,
winds up in the emergency room from alcohol poisoning, and it
looks as if she’s developing an eating disorder;
- Your college freshman calls you in a tizzy, “dumping”
all her upset on you, and you’re not sure how to calm her
- Your feisty daughter has issued an ultimatum about sleeping
in your home with her boyfriend;
- You find condoms in your son’s pockets, and since he’s
a single guy, this indicates he’s engaging in casual sex;
- Your son’s level of alcohol consumption has always worried
you, and now he’s in deep trouble over a fraternity brawl
involving extensive vandalism.