For many troubled young adults, both men and women, the transition to early adulthood becomes difficult when they are dealing with a social development delay. A social development delay is situation where teens are not prepared or equipped "emotionally" to transition into adulthood. Due to underdeveloped emotional and cognitive thinking coping skills they hit a wall when faced with real world situations. At The Crossroads is a transitional living program designed to assist struggling young adults to effectively develop the skill set to successfully navigate into adulthood.
Essentially, all too often young adults have not been allowed to deal with the full weight (consequences) of adversity; major set backs, disappointment, or delayed gratification. Their parents have acted as a buffer, shielding them from the negative consequences of immaturity. These young adults might be bright, intelligent, and academically successful - but ill-prepared to deal with the rigors and demands of real life adulthood. While enrolled in At The Crossroads young people receive the coaching they need to develop the proper set of emotional and academic - vocational skills to be successful as independent adults.
When teens leave home and go off on their own (college, jobs, etc) they can't fake their way through the demands from real life. Being independent is an action, not a status. Young adults are either responsible, and they take care of responsibilities (make good choices), or they flounder. As the saying goes... "when you are an independent adult little ferries don't come out in the middle of the night and take care of your responsibilities... you either act as an adult or you pay the consequences, eventually."
When young adults are delayed in their social development they are unable to successfully navigate through the demands and adversity associated with adulthood. Young adults who fail to fully mature before becoming "adults" (18 to 28 year old's stuck with the mentality of an adolescent) fall prey to the reality of adulthood. Their hope is was that adulthood is a time of independence, freedom, and liberty. But the truth is much different. The truth is that adulthood is hard work, dedication, discipline, and responsibility.
The transition into adulthood can be a time of independence, freedom, and unhindered liberties. However, the truth is that independence and freedom comes with a cost that all too many young adults are not prepared to pay. They want the freedom to run their own life but are ill-equipped to more than likely early adulthood fantasies are dashed by reality. Obligation, responsibility, accountability, hard work, adversity, and delayed dreams is more of a reality. The wake up for many young adults entering adulthood is a painful experience. Some get stuck in the delusion and disappointment.
Early adulthood can be the time to explore a multitude of attitudes, values, and life principles. It could be a time of developing beliefs and personal aspirations. Unfortunately, the leap from teenage years to adulthood is too much for some young adults, and the outcome is disastrous. This is referred to as Social Development Delay.
Think about your own adult social development. Did you encounter a smooth transition, or did you experience an unexpected rude "wake up call"? When you went through the transition life was a lot less demanding, less hectic, and the possibilities where already designed. Today's teen attempting to transition into the adult world has it a whole lot harder than we did.
Thinking back, when do you consider yourself as have reached adulthood? How old where you when you finally got it together? How much humbling did you experience? How did you handle setbacks, disappointment, or defeat? Take into consideration that today's teenager entering into adulthood has so much more ambiguity than you did, and is far less prepared. This is social development delay. Did you experience the delay?
Most mature adults would admit that they did not "get it together" until their late 20's or early 30's. Only after reaching your thirties were you prepared to take on the vigor of adulthood (with confidence, wisdom, and success). In between the age of 18 and 30 there are a great deal of loses, regrets, mistakes, and defeats. But you endured the adversity and prospered with the new earned wisdom. Unfortunately, today's young adults are horribly ill-prepared to enter adulthood with any certainty of success.
The vast array of possible life pursuits of today's young adults would suggest that the transition into adult roles has become permanently delayed. Its so prolonged and spread out that it has created a need for name to describe a sub-transitional category. The new transitional period is known as the "emerging adult" and is caused by social development delay.
The physical development for the young adult is the same as it always has been; young adults are usually strong, have sharp senses, and good stamina. Memory and intellectual abilities for young adults are at their highest levels ever. But social and emotional development (development of the personality) for the young adult is at best delayed, ambiguous, confusing, and painful. Today's young adults have the desire and gumption to be socially and emotionally independent.
Young adults today have the same a high ambition to succeed that past generations had. They want to hurry up and select a college, career, and occupation. However, other things, like the selection of a spouse, starting a family, and being ready to accept adult responsibilities, is unattainable and out of reach. Not until the end of their 20's are they ready or prepared for "full adulthood". So, young adults feel as though they are in limbo, and their foundation is not set. Instead of the stability of a firm foundation with secure direction, they are faced with so many choices… and so very little commitment to one area or another.
Normally, young adults, both men and women, should progress beyond adolescents through the application their collective knowledge. Adulthood is a time of "doing". The transition into adulthood is a time of testing, and our belief systems are tested (our fantasy thinking is replaced with reality). We typically switch from actually acquiring knowledge (having opinions) to applying that knowledge in our everyday lives. Applying our perceived intelligence is humbling when our idealistic notions meet the real world. We face profound consequences when our faulty beliefs about life and the world don't jive with reality.
Unfortunately, most young adults today reject mentorship and life coaching from those who have "gone before them". At least they reject mentorship and wisdom from the older adults up to the point where humility allows them to seek help.
This is the time when a family is established and attention is given to the needs of a spouse and children. Young adults incur social responsibilities, deal with starting a career, and must take on some level of responsibility for others at work and in the community.
There are many changes that take place in the thinking of young adults (different from teenagers), including a new integration of responsible and realistic thought (belief). Young adults learn that they must rely less on logical analysis when solving problems (realism is introduced) and more on "doing what it takes". Idealized logic (the world is perfect) is replaced with commitment, tenacity, and perseverance. At this point young adults learn to focus their energy on finding their niche (there place in the world).
At The Crossroads was developed to help young adults to overcome the social development delay that hinders their ability to effectively transtion into adulthood.
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