As our children grow up, they naturally start to distance themselves during their pre-teen and teenage years. Sometimes as parents, our reaction is to pull them closer and hold them tighter, often times making them distance even more. The distancing of our teens is a healthy and normal part of the growing up process even though it can be hard for us parents. One way to ease our minds and keep our teens close is to make your home a teen-friendly space…
Teenagers typically spend more time in their bedrooms, away from the rest of the family, than anywhere else in the house. Allow them to feel a little more grown-up and comfortable in that space. Ditch the baby blankets and picture books for more adult decor. Of course, make sure to ask their opinion. If they feel proud of something they’ve created, they will be more likely to spend time and bring friends into that space.
Don’t Forget The Extra Seating
For a teen, a bedroom is more than just a place to sleep, it is their sanctuary, a place to be alone or feel safe talking with friends without intruding ears. By adding a cool hanging chair, a daybed or simply some bean bags, you’ve created a place they are comfortable bringing their friends into to hang out.
Keep Them Busy
Having an extra space in your home, such as a family room or a sun room, that your teen can “take over” when friends are there is a huge asset. It gives them the feeling of freedom while not being too far from your watchful eye. Keep it stocked with games; a pool table, ping pong or air hockey are big draws but even keeping the closet stocked with board games or a TV and video games will keep them entertained.
Create An Outdoor Space
Adding a swimming pool for your teen may be a bit over the top for most of us, but you can still create a great space them to feel safe. Most times teens crave a place they can be themselves and talk freely with their friends, outdoor spaces can provide that privacy.
Remember to allow your teens to have fun and be themselves. You can still keep an eye on them without hovering. Let them feel like they have some freedom and they will choose to make your home the “hang out spot”. But most importantly, make sure you’re stocked up on snacks and you will be the go to teen-friendly house!