As parents, it’s hard to watch our children grow up and away from us. At the same time, we know that it’s the only way. As our children become teenagers, it’s important that they gain greater independence and responsibility.
Still, there’s a middle ground. And providing a welcoming and comfortable space in your home for your children and their friends is one such way to find that middle ground. In fact, doing so can have numerous benefits, including strengthening your relationship with each other, and also minimizing the chances that your teen will engage in risky behavior.
Here’s how you can create an atmosphere that encourages your teenager to stay close to home more often, either alone or with the whole gang.
Teens like to be comfy. Honestly, who doesn’t? Provide inviting opportunities for sitting, reclining or otherwise lounging. Along with cushy couches and chairs, consider alternative seating such as oversized floor pillows, bean bags, plush blankets and low-to-the-ground gaming chairs.
Speaking of gaming chairs, games themselves are definitely an effective way to enhance your hangout space. Invest in a quality video game console if you don’t already have one. Stock up on popular games, as well.
Teens are constantly connected to social media and each other. Providing a strong Wi-Fi network lets them save their data usage. Hook up a fast and powerful wireless router that allows them all to be online with no lag.
You can encourage your teen and his or her friends to stick around by giving them other screens to stare at besides their phones. Make sure you have a television with excellent picture quality and possibly a streaming device so they can watch Netflix and YouTube. Alternatively, set up a home theater with a projector and a large screen so they can enjoy movies without going anywhere.
Amp up the movie watching and series bingeing with audio that’s loud and clear. A good soundbar will not only let teens better enjoy their at-home viewing experience, but they might also use it to stream their favorite tunes.
6. Fun Stuff
Just because they’re nearing adulthood doesn’t mean teens have outgrown fun and games. Consider both indoor and outdoor activities, such as a pool table, a foosball or a ping pong table and a trampoline or swimming pool. Of course, you should take steps to ensure their safety, as well.
Teens don’t want to hang out in a room that looks stuffy and untouchable. Along with inviting furnishings, lighting and decorations, think about the walls. For instance, a large chalkboard wall might encourage creativity and make it the ideal place for study sessions.
Perhaps the best way to make your house seem like the coolest on the block is by stocking the fridge, freezer and pantry with teen-friendly foods. Encourage their independent natures with fun-to-use cooking appliances they can use to make delicious snacks or meals, such as an air fryer and a soda maker. You might also want to make it clear that they’re responsible for cleaning up when they’re done!
Congratulations! You’ve now got the best teen hangout in town!