Hosted by Brendan Courtney, This Crowded House is a shrewd series delving into the lives of 20 and 30-something-year-olds living with their parents in Ireland.
Have you heard of the 'Boomerang Generation'? The term refers to adults who left their childhood home to live on their own but ended up moving back in with their parents, usually due to financial reasons, thus 'boomeranging' back to their original residence.
Although these adult children may find it difficult to move back to their childhood home, we often forget that their parents probably aren't too happy about it either. We asked host Brendan Courtney to talk to us about his experience with these families.
"What people forget is, the poor parents who thought they were getting their home back, who thought they were going to have a gym in the box room, who thought they could have more guests at the weekend - all of a sudden, they find that they're in a regressive situation where the house is full again.
"They thought they were going to have their second or third stage of life with more space, more room, more time, less meals to cook," Brendan explains.
When it comes to managing relationship dynamics in a 'boomerang' household, the TV presenter suggests that adult children should act as guests rather than dependents in the home.
"Pretend she [or he] is not your Mum or Dad. Pretend it's your aunt and uncle and treat the house with respect," advises Brendan.
"I boomeranged back home at the ripe old age of 36. Literally ten years ago I took over Off the Rails, I came back from London and came back to RTÉ and had nowhere to live and ended up living in my box room - but I was so grateful.
"I was 36 not 26 and I realised how lucky I was that I could stay in Dublin and work. I would regularly bring home dinner or I would take them out for dinner just to thank them. I would always leave the place clean after me because I was the model son at 36. At 26, I was a bit of an eejit. I ate all their food and didn't pay any rent, ever.
"If you boomerang back home, try and treat the house with respect because it's really hard on your parent."
"The most people who talk to me on the street are Mums and Dads saying, 'Will you come around and get her out?' or 'Get him out and keep him out?' and they're kind of joking but I can see they kind of do mean it.
"They'd love their kids move on, they want to see their children flourish, they want to see their children go and have a life and have their own home so they start with a joke but they do kind of mean it."
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On tonight's episode...
In Drogheda, Co. Louth, Brendan meets 23-year-old Leah McCarthy who dreams of moving in with Alan, her boyfriend of 4 years. Ideally, the couple would like to buy rather than rent, however, as things stand the couple won't be going anywhere as Leah has been out of work for 6 months.
When Brendan meets the family, it’s clear that Leah needs to be a bit more realistic of what it would take to move out of her parent's home. As Brendan says, a mortgage is as big a commitment as a marriage these days, especially when Leah and Alan have never lived together before.
Elsewhere, in Cork, Brendan visits Eimer Murphy and her 11-year old daughter Lauren who would love a home of their own. The family home has always been busy, but even more so in recent times with her father having been diagnosed with early-stage dementia.
As a single parent, Eimer has also qualified for a Housing Assistance Payment of €900 per month. However, she is also quite specific as to what she is looking for – a house rather than an apartment, which has definitely hindered her search.
As Brendan and the team try to help Eimer on a path to move out, it’s clear that whilse Dublin gets much of the headlines of the property crisis, in Cork, prices have also sky-rocketed and demand is huge. What’s also very clear is that Eimer will have to get over her mental block of apartment living if she’s ever going to move out of home.
Watch This Crowded House on RTÉ2 at 9:30pm every Wednesday.