Making Our Home Teen Friendly

posted in: Large Family | 7

“This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and TONY’S® Pizza, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #BigPizzeriaTaste http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

How we encourage our teens to bring their friends home.

Chuck and I have been talking a lot lately about our teens. Four of our children are already grown and gone and Judah will be leaving the nest soon. We have come to realize what a short time our children have left to actually spend in our house. As the saying goes, “the days are long but the years are short”. I don’t feel old enough to have a married daughter or a son heading off to university, but I do.

We do.

Our family dynamic has shifted, and we now have more “big kids” than “little kids”. Chuck and I realized our focus needs to begin to shift. When you have five babies in three years, its all about diapers and naps and strollers ancar seatsts. But what about when you have four teens and two more about to become teens?

Years ago we used to talk about how we wanted our kids and their friends to hang out at our house. We’d have a ping-pong table, plenty of games and food for them. We’d make sure our place was the coolest place to be. As our teens could tell you, this hasn’t been our house. Most of Apollo’s life we’ve had to limit visitors and practically give them a physical exam before they could hang out here. Now he’s so much healthier and germs aren’t nearly the threat that they used to be. We want our kids to bring their friend’s home and have fun, but we needed a game plan.

 

Tony's Pizza 4

Last week Apollo and I headed to Walmart and grabbed this plastic bin and filled it with chips, pop, candy, and TONY’S® Pizza  (okay, the pizza is going in the freezer). Chuck and I explained to our teens that we would keep this bin stocked for when they had friends over (this is not a general snack bin or for after school, etc). We want their friends to feel welcome and we want them to be able to have some good old-fashioned fun with them. We don’t buy many packaged/processed foods, and the few we do buy are for school and work lunches. This bin, with these snacks, are reserved for our teens and their friends. 

Tony's Pizza 1To be perfectly honest, my teens couldn’t wipe the grins off of their faces. They loved the idea! It is out of character for us to buy these foods (unless we are planning a party) but they are totally on board with the idea. And I know perfectly well it wasn’t about the snacks or junk food…it was about the attitude and the effort we had put in.

Teens sitting outside eating Tony's Pizza

I bought both Tony’s Pizzeria Style Pepperoni and Tony’s Pizzeria Style Cheese Pizza. My kids wasted no time digging into the cheese pizza with their vegetarian friend, Hayley. 

We shall see how it goes. So far, so good. We can’t exactly afford to remodel our house or set up a state-of-the-art media center. What we can do is welcome our kids’ friends, supply a house, some games, plenty of snacks and a friendly smile.

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What kind of things do you do to help your kids’ friends feel welcome? How about your teens? Any great ideas about how to make your home more teen friendly?

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7 Responses

  1. I was just talking about this subject to my husband yesterday. I want our house to be the open house where all the friends want to come and hang out, but we have to get through this next baby first. My older boys (13 and almost 12) don’t really see a bunch of baby sisters in various stages of potty training to be a good place to hang out, no matter how big our TV is 😉 I’ll just make it my Three Year Plan. In three years, I’ll make my house the older kid friendly place.

    • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

      Yes, it takes a definite plan and action! Just make sure you don’t forget 🙂

  2. CANDY SMITH

    Our kids are 3 to 25 so we’ve had teens around for a long, long time. I have to say, it’s definitely all about the food, especially with boys. We have one high shelf of our pantry stocked with “company” food, you’re right it works out great. I’ve found that what really keeps the kids coming is to get to know them well, learn their nicknames and funny stories about them, buy their favorite snack when they come over, fix their favorite dish when it’s their birthday, if they feel special at your house, they’ll return.

  3. We’ve just entered the teens. Love this idea.

  4. Diana Rambles

    Fun times with teens!!

  5. […] old enough to look after themselves. So we have been focusing on our teens lately. We set up our teen-only snack bin, we have been encouraging them to bring their friend’s home. And we have made on more […]

  6. […] Our teens often have their friends over on Sunday afternoon. We go to church in the morning and usually try to enjoy a relaxing rest of the day. This makes it the perfect time for just hanging out. They laugh, talk, watch YouTube videos, play games, watch movies and dig into our Teen Only Bin. […]

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