8 Ways We Are Encouraging Our Kids to Stay Home This Summer

legs and shoes of people standing on a porch outside

We have 3 teenage boys and life is hectic.

Here are some pictures of our Memorial Day weekend camping trip to Silverton, Colorado. We spent some time exploring ghost towns while we were there.

our family on the porch of a ghost town house

It was nice to get some fresh, mountain air to start the summer off right!

a boy and dog next to a sign in the mountains

Time is flying so fast and I can hardly keep up.

They are doing things and meeting people that I am not sure of anymore.

They want to hang out with their friends and stay out later at night (as late as allowed).

It feels like they are slipping thru my hands and I’m not a part of their lives anymore.

Last summer, we really worked on our summer bucket list and things we could do together to have fun over the summer. That was so fun, but it feels like the tide is changing with our kids.

So this summer, my husband and I are doing some things differently to encourage them to stay home and bring their friends home too.

We want to know their friends and we want our house to be the place they want to hang out.

8 Ways We Are Encouraging Our Kids to Stay Home This Summer

  1. New Backboard-Our outdoor basketball hoop broke last summer, so we are replacing it with a sturdier version.
  2. Xbox-We upgraded our previous Xbox 360 to a Xbox One S so they could get newer games and play online with others.
  3. Backyard Games-We will be building some of the backyard games in this post to encourage outdoor play.
  4. Fire Pit-We will be increasing the size of our fire pit and adding chairs to sit around it. Having bonfires is a big summer activity here in the country.
  5. Snacks and Drinks-We are adding a second refrigerator in the garage for extra drinks and snacks for when their friends come over.
  6. Keeping the house clean-We will be keeping the house cleaner so that we don’t need notice for people to come over.
  7. Movies-We will add to our movie collection so that friends can watch new movies when they come over.
  8. Wifi Upgrade-We recently upgraded our Wifi with a new company so that we can run the computer, stream movies and play games online at the same time.

What about chores?

Now, I don’t want you to think it will be fun 24/7 here. We still have a homestead to work and they will still have plenty of chores to do.

They will be feeding animals, keeping the house clean, taking out the trash and keeping up the yard.

They will be working on BSA merit badges and Eagle Scout projects. They will be attending church activities and practicing with sports teams.

But in their down time, I want them to see home as a place they want to be and I want them to feel comfortable to invite their friends here too.

Don’t all of these things cost too much?

If all of these things seem too expensive, over the top or not necessary, I would say that our family is worth it.

When I was raising three little boys, it was physically exhausting. They needed me all the time, didn’t sleep as long and were bundles of energy.

I kept thinking to myself, “Won’t it be nice when they are big enough to do things on their own and not need me as much!”

Well, be careful what you wish for!

While raising little ones is physically tiring, raising teenagers is emotionally exhausting. I have never worried about so many things as I do now.

Where are they? Who are they with? Are they making good choices? Are they being good examples to others?

I second guess every decision I make and I probably won’t know until several years from now if I made the right ones. By then it will be too late to do anything about it.

So if I can keep my teenagers at home at least a few nights a week, I can get to know them and their friends better.

I will know that they are having fun and in a safe place.

If I can keep my teenagers at home at least a few nights a week, I can get a little peace of mind.

And right now, that is all I want. To know they are safe and happy.

And I hope that they will know that home is a fun, safe place to be.

In 5 years, my youngest will graduate high school and then they will all be gone. Sure, they will come to visit for holidays and vacations. But they won’t live here full time anymore.

I want them to grow up and fly away. I want them to be productive adults and have their own families.

But for now, I want them to be home as much as possible. Hopefully, these plans we have made will help to encourage them to do just that!

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Do you encourage your kids to bring their friends home? Let us know in the comments below. And if you found this post helpful, please share!

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