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Is Your Home the Hang-Out Spot?

Is Your Home the Hang-Out Spot?

You’ve already got a home filled with children. You love your kids but there’s already lots of noise and more than enough people making messes, so why in the world would you want more kids hanging out at your house?


There are a variety of reasons. So why should you make your home the hang-out house?

  • You’ll know where your kids are. You won’t have to worry that they’re at places you don’t want them to be—because they’re sitting in your kitchen eating potato chips or playing ball in your backyard.
  • You’ll know who their friends are. For some of those kids who don’t come from nurturing loving families, your house might be the only taste of home that they will ever know.
  • You’ll know they’re safe.
  • You can pray for your children and their friends. Who knows, you might be the only person in the world who is praying for some of those kids!
  • You’ll have fun. Provide things for your children and teens to do. These don’t have to be expensive items. Set up a basketball goal in the driveway or buy some craft supplies. You can often find inexpensive items at yard sales. We also have some great ideas for fun activities in our “Smarts-n-Crafts” column at

Stockpile family-friendly movies and board games. Bake cookies together. Find what they enjoy and make some memories together.

Make sure your kids know their friends are welcome. Verbalize that. My boys knew that if their friends were there at dinner time, they were welcome to stay for the meal—although there were a few times I felt like I needed the feeding of the 5,000 when multiple unexpected faces gathered around our table. Add an extra jar of spaghetti sauce to the noodles or throw a few more potatoes in the microwave. It’s more important for everyone to feel welcome than it is to have a perfect meal.

Those were precious times. One of the moments we still laugh about happened the day one of my son’s friends walked into the family room and told me, “Oh, by the way, we’re out of oatmeal cream pies.”

I loved that they felt at home. Now that they’re all grown, it’s a joy to bump into them at various places. Invariably, my husband and I get hugs, and they always talk about those days of hanging out at our house.

I’m glad they have good memories—but I look back now and realize I’m the one who truly got the blessing.

Is your home the hang-out place? Don’t miss those irreplaceable moments with your children and their friends!

By: Michelle Cox is the creator and developer of the Just 18 Summers® brand of parenting products and resources. Her Just 18 Summers novel (co-authored with Rene Gutteridge) is available now. Check out her two new books, God Glimpses from the Jewelry Box and God Glimpses from the Toolbox at

Join us at for our parenting blog each Monday-Friday and for info about the Just 18 Summers novel.

One Comment

  1. I agree, Michelle. We built a house when my girls were in 1st and 3rd grade. We didn’t finish the entire basement, but we did finish out a recreational area for the specific purpose of making our home the hangout spot. Now my girls are 19 and 21, and when they come home from college, the kids still congregate at our house, and I love it even more now than I did then because now we don’t see the kids often, and it’s a great time to catch up on the lives they are growing into. We’ve also hosted new friends the girls have brought home from college, which I love because then we get a peek into our girls’ new lives (sniffle, sniffle). One weekend we hosted 32 kids representing 5 different countries when my daughter asked if their campus ministry group could have a weekend retreat at our house. We live near two beautiful state parks, so the plan was for them to hike and then camp out in our backyard. Two problems…the 18 that signed up for the retreat turned into 32 who showed up and only two people brought tents! We had college kids covering every bit of floor surface in our living room, family room, and bedrooms…and almost nobody brought bedding! The kids didn’t care where or how they slept. They just had a great time hanging out. Good times…. 🙂 But like your article, I think my best mom advice would be to make your home the hangout.

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