Teenager Lesson #5 Is Your House THE House?
Tonight is the last night of the weekend. Mr. Wonderful and I are home alone. The girls have gone back to college and the boy is out to a movie because tomorrow he has no school due to teacher conference day.
Can we all pause a moment and ponder the rare words “Mr. Wonderful and I are home alone”?
Just before leaving, Conner, my son came in to see me.
The dreaded question was “Hey Mom, we’re going to a 10 o’clock movie. Can three or four of the guys come over and spend the night afterward?”
Now, as a working parent, who has to be at a job at 8 a.m. each day, you are SO tempted…let me repeat…SOOOOOOOOOOOOO tempted to say “NO, absolutely NOT…see if someone else’s “sucker” parents will let you guys come over there so that WE can sleep in peace for once.”
And to go on….”Let someone ELSE’S parents wake up at 2 a.m. when 4 hungry boys, who are STILL playing X-Box and hungry come downstairs to raid the kitchen and deplete your entire snack cupboard of anything edible, whilst banging the cupboard doors and slamming the microwave door as loudly as possible ..YES, let THEM have you guys spend the night”.
Or in some cases, “NO, the house is a mess, and you guys will make it an even BIGGER mess so go somewhere else so I don’t have to try to make it look presentable!”.
But instead, what always comes out of my mouth is, “Sure, as long as you keep quiet and remember we have to work in the morning.”
Because the truth is, I want my house to be THE house.
The house where all the kids feel comfortable. The house where they know they’re always welcome. They can eat our food, mess up our rooms (even though, rest assured, Mr. Wonderful will call ya on the carpet tomorrow!), and we usually require two small favors in return.
#1 You come and say hi to us when you get here.
#2 You say goodbye and thank you when you leave.
We’re pretty much low-maintenance other than that. We like our kids to be in OUR house. We like to know where they are and what they’re doing. We like their friends to feel welcome here. We like them to feel like there is a place they can relax and feel at ease.
We may require you to pick up a plate or drink here or there…but that’s pretty much it.
We like our house to be THE house.
Where everyone has fun and feels welcome and loved.
Is your house THE house? Because if not, maybe it’s time to think about why you had kids in the first place? I hear so many stories from our youth that visit about how they don’t feel like their friends can come over or their parents don’t make anyone feel welcome.
If I’m a kid, I am going somewhere where I FEEL welcome…and maybe that’s a house that doesn’t hold the same moral values as my house…
Which can get them in a lot of trouble.
I know it’s a pain sometimes. I know you want undisturbed sleep, and a cupboard filled with food (that’s not cheap!).
But let your house be THE house. Let your kids be at home, where YOU can control what their atmosphere is.
And for the rest of their lives?
They will want to come and visit you and revisit THAT house.
Because they’ll feel loved.