Social scientists say we’d better get used to the idea of young adults continuing to live in their childhood bedrooms, because this global phenomenon is the “new normal”. In Italy — where 70% of young adults live casa mama — they’re called “Bamboccioni” – or big babies. In the UK, where one in three parents are remortgaging their homes to support adult kids, they’re called “Yuckies” — Young, Unwitting, Costly Kids. In North America we’ve christened them “Boomerangs” for their tendency to keep coming home (if they ever left in the first place!)
GENERATION BOOMERANG examines why so many of today’s young adults are slow to launch. The reality is that getting ahead today requires post-secondary education, leaving many young people heavily in debt. And finding a job is tough. In Canada, the unemployment rate for 15 to 24 year olds sits at 14% — double what it is for the general population. But those aren’t the only reasons young adults are choosing to remain under mom and dad’s roof. After a childhood of overprotection, overindulgence, over-everything, many of today’s 20 and 30 somethings are finding the real world just a little too real. Why share a dingy basement suite with 3 roommates and eat macaroni, when you can live in a comfortable renovated basement and eat mom’s pasta primavera? And parents? Many are just fine with the arrangement, because they consider their kids their friends and like having them around. And they are quick to come to the rescue whenever they see their offspring headed for adversity.
Is this trend a good thing or is it creating a generation of Peter Pans who will never grow up? Several experts weigh in, including Sociologist Richard Settersten, co-author of Not Quite Adults: Why 20 Somethings Are Choosing a Slower Path to Adulthood; Psychologist Jeffrey Arnett, author of Emerging Adulthood: The Winding Road From The Late Teens Through The Twenties; Social Psychologist Jane Adams, who spends much of her time coaching boomer parents on how to deal with their adult children; and Christina Newberry, whose book and website The Hands On Guide to Surviving Adult Children Living at Home offer tips and advice for parents on how to establish a workable living arrangement with their adult children.
GENERATION BOOMERANG is directed by Sharon Bartlett and Maria LeRose, who also produced the documentary with Sue Ridout.
The film is produced by Dreamfilm Productions in association with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.