How to Motivate Young Adults That Live at Home

by | Jan 10, 2024 | Family Issues, Helping a Loved One, Mental Health, Well-being | 0 comments

Motivating young adults who live at home can be difficult, as they are still residing in their childhood home but are autonomous adults to some degree. For parents, it might feel uncomfortable trying to ride the line between parenting and taking a back seat. If your young adult is lacking motivation, it could be difficult to sit back and not say anything. Fortunately, there are some ways that you can help motivate your child without overstepping. In this blog, we will explore some of the techniques you can utilize to spark some motivation in your young adult without harming the relationship.

Why Do Some Young Adults Lack Motivation?

There are quite a few different reasons as to why some young adults might lack intrinsic motivation. The safety net provided by the family environment can inadvertently breed a sense of complacency for some. Shielded from the immediate responsibilities of bills, rent, and other adult obligations, some adults may struggle to develop a sense of urgency or the drive to pursue goals. The comfort and support offered at home can inadvertently become a double-edged sword, impeding the development of the resilience and self-reliance necessary for personal growth.

On top of this, societal expectations and the pressure to conform to a certain path can overwhelm and paralyze young people. If they lack certainty in terms of a career or their future in general, they might feel frozen and are unmotivated to take the next step, as they aren’t confident in what that looks like.

Finally, social media platforms showcase curated versions of success, perpetuating unrealistic expectations and making personal achievements seem overwhelming. This heightened pressure can contribute to a lack of motivation to break free from the comfort zone.

Steps To Take

1. Communicate

Create a safe space for your child to express themselves without fear of judgment or backlash, especially if they aren’t sure of what their next steps are in life. Regularly engage in conversations about their aspirations and interests. Actively listening and showing genuine interest can help parents learn more about their child’s motivations and help guide them more effectively.

2. Set Goals Together

Collaboratively setting goals empowers young adults and provides them with a sense of purpose and guidance. Discuss short-term and long-term objectives, breaking them down into manageable steps that keep the young adult from feeling overwhelmed. By involving your young adult in the goal-setting process, you encourage autonomy and accountability.

3. Gently Encourage Pursuit of Passions

Motivation often stems from pursuing one’s passions. Encourage your young adult to explore and identify their interests, whether they be academic, artistic, athletic, or entrepreneurial. Provide opportunities for them to engage in activities aligned with these passions, fostering a sense of purpose and fulfillment. When individuals are passionate about what they do, they are more likely to be motivated and committed to their endeavors.

4. Provide Support, Not Pressure

While it’s natural for parents to want the best for their children, applying excessive pressure can lead to stress and demotivation. Instead, offer support by being understanding, patient, and empathetic. Recognize that everyone progresses at their own pace, and success is achieved through a combination of effort and experience. Create an environment where failure is viewed as an opportunity for growth rather than a setback.

5. Teach Financial Responsibility

Young adults living at home can benefit from learning financial responsibility so that when they are on their own, they are confident in their knowledge. Educate them about budgeting, saving, and the importance of financial planning. Encourage part-time employment or internships to instill a strong work ethic and financial independence. This not only provides practical skills but also fosters a sense of responsibility and self-reliance, key elements in building motivation.

6. Foster Independence Gradually

Gradually entrust them with responsibilities, both at home and in decision-making processes. This could involve managing their schedules, handling personal finances, or taking the lead on specific projects. By empowering them to make choices and learn from their experiences, parents contribute to the development of self-motivated and independent individuals.

7. Celebrate Achievements

Acknowledging and celebrating achievements, no matter how small, reinforces positive behavior and motivation. Whether it’s a good grade, completion of a project, or reaching a personal milestone, take the time to recognize and celebrate these accomplishments. Positive reinforcement builds confidence and encourages a continued commitment to personal growth.

8. Promote a Healthy Work-Life Balance

Balancing academic or professional pursuits with leisure and self-care is essential for maintaining motivation and overall well-being. Encourage your young adult to establish a healthy work-life balance, emphasizing the importance of relaxation, hobbies, and social connections. Understanding the significance of downtime contributes to increased productivity and a more sustained motivation to achieve long-term goals.

9. Provide Mentorship

Share your own experiences, successes, and failures, imparting valuable lessons learned along the way. Introduce them to mentors in their areas of interest who can provide guidance and support. Having role models and mentors can inspire young adults to set ambitious goals and persevere in the face of challenges.

Final Thoughts

If your young adult is lacking motivation, you can effectively help them get back on track by using the above strategies. It is normal for some people to feel overwhelmed and fearful when it comes to their future. Being present and offering to help them through this tough period can help keep them on track and motivate them to put in the effort needed to succeed.

We Can Help!

MHThrive provides Individual Therapy, Couples and Marriage Counseling, and Family Therapy at our locations in Katy, The Woodlands, and the Clear Lake area of Houston, Texas. We also provide telehealth therapy for anyone who resides within the State of Texas. To schedule an appointment with one of the MHThrive therapists, contact us at 713-477-0333 or visit to learn more.

If you or someone you know is experiencing any mental health or substance abuse issues, New Dimensions can help. Our team of experienced therapists and psychiatrists can help you overcome these challenges and help you develop the skills you need to thrive. To schedule a complementary assessment or to find out more about our programs, contact us at 1-800-685-9796.

Online Treatment Programs provides Teletherapy Partial Hospitalization and Intensive Outpatient Programs allowing participants to receive intensive therapy with our licensed therapists and psychiatrists without having to leave home.  If you or someone you know is struggling to overcome depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, trauma, panic attacks, PTSD, alcoholism, drug abuse, or other mental health or addiction issues, we can help.  To schedule a complementary assessment or to find out more about our teletherapy programs, contact us at 1-800-685-9796.


Keywords: Young adults; motivation; living at home; resilience

References: Copp JE, Giordano PC, Longmore MA, Manning WD. LIVING WITH PARENTS AND EMERGING ADULTS’ DEPRESSIVE SYMPTOMS. J Fam Issues. 2017 Nov;38(16):2254-2276. doi: 10.1177/0192513X15617797. Epub 2015 Nov 24. PMID: 29051680; PMCID: PMC5642303.