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Making your home inviting

May 5th, 2008 / 7 Comments


As a parent, we are concern with who our children’s friends are, aren’t we? We know that their peers have a strong influence on the way our children will turn out.

What is the best way for a parent to see who your children hang out with and what they are like when they are with their friends? (No, you can’t stalk them at school!)

Invite them over to your house!

The thought of 5 little 10-year-olds or 10 teenagers messing up your house probably sends chills down your spine. But I figured, what’s my house for anyway? My house is not a museum, it’s not for adults only, and it’s no fun if I am the only one in it. I had kids so that I can enjoy the house with my kids. Why keep them away from my house?

In fact, wouldn’t you rather have your children and their friends at your house instead of at someone else’s house where you don’t know what they are doing? I want to make sure I make my house as friendly as possible for kids to want to come to my house.

I admit, there are sacrifices involved. My light colored carpet is not so light colored anymore. I always have to wipe off the walls of hand prints and scuff marks. And some marks will never come off. There are some deterioration that cannot be repaired – the worn couch, the scratched table, the broken chair.

But I’d rather take the un-Martha Stewart look and trade it in for memories of seeing my children play and building that relationship with my children and their friends.

Now that summer is almost here, I want to make sure my kids know that their friends are welcome here.

So here are some ways to make your home the place to come to:

1. Make sure there is plenty of food and drinks stocked. Buying individual servings of drinks like CapriSun or soda cans is more expensive, but you save on not having to wash cups and limiting spills.

2. Have some play attraction. A ping pong table, a basketball hoop, a game system with multi-player games as well as some board games can entertain the kids. We bought the Game Cube and now the Wii to make it an attraction for friends. We hardly play it ourselves. Some chalk to draw on the side walk or a ball to play handball against the wall, or some hula hoops are fun for the younger ones.

3. Be friendly, but don’t try to be cool. You’ll embarrass your children by trying too hard to be accepted as “one of them”. It’s ok to be maintain the role of the parent and not their friend.

4. Put valuables and fragile items away. I’ll decorate my house with knick knacks after the kids are grown. But then there’ll be grandkids…:)

5. It’s ok to have rules. Every so often I have to say, “Watch your mouth, please” or “Please no feet on the furniture”. Just be reasonable that kids will move things around, and they will not be perfect. So be prepared ahead of time not to get upset.

What other ways do you make your house inviting to kids?

Photo by Ingorrr

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  1. Right now my kids are still pretty small and the thought of having a big group of 6 and 8 year olds over is a little bit frightening LOL! But, I hope that when they’re older they will want to have their friends over rather than always going somewhere else.

    I do invite one or two of their friends over though. That’s about as much as I can handle at this stage. 🙂

  2. Hubz and I were just talking about this – our teenager is starting to invite friends over about every other week or so. We figured we’d get into the habit now, just before he starts high school, and turn this place into “the hangout.”

    The fingerprints and emptied refrigerator would be well worth to know who my son is hanging out with and what they’re up to… You are right on with this one as well!

    P.S. If you’re up for it, I’ve got a Mother’s Day tag for you… 🙂

  3. Having a bunch of kids over is something that takes some getting get used to. They give you blogging material though, don’t they?? 🙂

  4. Oh, I think your rules/guidelines are terrific! I agree with all of them. I tend to be pretty generous with the snacks, too (including sweets). I love to bake, so sometimes I try to time a batch of brownies right around the end of the visit so they can take some to go (and leave with that lingering smell of chocolate…).

  5. Wow, even some snacks to go! I’m coming over!

  6. That is exactly my plan!! That is one of the great memories I have of growing up. My house was always the place to be and my friends were always welcome.

  7. […] Isn’t it better to have them play in your house under your supervision? I would welcome his friends to come over to play, rather than not knowing who he is playing […]


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