Parenting

Our House Is the Cool Place To Hang Out

hangout place, cozy home, teenager

Since the day our son was born, my wife has said that when he enters his teenage years she wanted our house to be the place everyone wanted to hang out. Her theory was, if our son and his friends all liked being at our house then we would know where he was at and he would have less of a chance to get into trouble.

Her dream came true over the weekend.

Our son was supposed to go an overnight online gaming event with half a dozen friends. They’ve done this a couple of times, and always have a great time. A few days ago, the host told everyone he had to cancel because his parents had other plans. So, my son asked if we could have it at our house.

our house is the cool place to hang out

Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I could feel my wife’s eyes light up from across the room.

Before his friends arrived, I spent some time cleaning our basement, and doing some setup. Having been to my share of gaming parties when I was younger I knew a little bit about what he would need.

  • I arranged several 6 foot tables in a square as everyone would be bringing their computers
  • I ran a network cable down stairs for the one person coming that didn’t have wireless capability
  • I plugged in extension cords and placed power strips under the tables
  • I worked with my son to make a list of soda, pizza, chips and other snacks they might want to have on hand.

When everyone had arrived, and all their gear had been unpacked I walked downstairs just to make sure they didn’t need anything else. The lights were off, but the room was glowing from the computer screens, and the lighting effects from the gaming computers and headsets. I heard one of them say, “I gotta take a picture of this. Last time I had to sit on a couch in a different room. This is really cool.”

It was really cool.

Later in the evening they emerged from their gaming dungeon and went outside to play night games in the park behind our home with flashlights. They came back in an hour later thirsty and ready to get back to their gaming.

They finally went to sleep about 7am.

After everyone had gone home, my son told me that he might want to do this again. I nodded and said, “Anytime, son.” He also expressed interest in having a fire and making smores next time. Sounded like a great idea to me.

He smiled, I smiled, and I could feel my wife smile from across the room.

Is your home the cool place for your kids and their friends to hang out?

Brought to you courtesy of Brock

About the author

Brock Kernin

8 Comments

  • I think this is great – when I was growing up, my house was anything but the cool place to hang out. My mom would NOT leave us alone, and other than my small bedroom there was nowhere for us to go, so we went elsewhere. It will come in handy as he continues to get older and needs somewhere to keep from getting too bored.

  • Sounds great; I think if the payoff is huge. When my daughter was growing up, I had the same theory your wife did. I always did all I could to make sure the house was the cool place to hang out. I just preferred knowing she was here, and safe, so stocked it with snacks and stuff they could get into without getting in too much trouble, making the desktop available and clearing space for cooking, etc.; then I pretty pretty much stayed out of their hair while they were here, but within reach if they needed me. I don’t see her as much as she’s in college now, but when she comes home she always brings a handful of friends. They’re a great bunch of young adults. I just love it. (I still give them plenty of privacy, but she invites me to join them more often than not…)

  • If I were a teen, I’d want to hang at your house. Our son has his friends over about as often as he goes to their houses. He is only 13, and does not have a laptop for game play. He does have a powerful desktop system that I put together that lives in the family room. We have no problem with him and his friends traipsing through the house whenever they want, but I don’t think our house is the cool place to hang out.

  • Haha my house never became the place to hang out — not because nobody liked it (I hope), but it usually the farthest from school among group of my school friends, so if it’s not for a special occasion I just didn’t have the heart to make everyone commute that far! Once they did, my mom made sure we stuffed with food to make the trip worth it 😀

  • @Daisy – We definitely give him his space….but also are accommodating to his needs. Whenever he’s going to have friends over, the question I always ask is, “What do you need?” Even when his friends are at the house, I ask if they want anything because I’m going to the store anyway. His friends usually answer the question before he does!

  • @Lynn – I think privacy is huge as well….while they were here and I needed to talk to my son I would yell down the stairs and let him come up instead of going down into their domain (except for the one time at the beginning when I asked if they needed anything). But having them at our home, knowing where he is gives me a lot of piece of mind.

  • @Bryce – most of his friends have desktops (as does our son), but they don’t mind moving all their gear in plastic tubs to do this sort of thing. They also hang out at other kids’ houses….but they seem to be gravitating more and more towards ours. Feed them and give them the things they ask for and they’ll want to come back. 🙂

  • @poorstudent – yeah, the location thing would make it more difficult. The nice thing is the kids my son hangs out with all live within a few blocks of each other. Makes it really convenient when people need rides to transport their systems!

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