“This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and TONY’S® Pizza, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #BigPizzeriaTaste http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV”
Chuck and I have been talking a lot lately about our teens. Four of our children are already grown and gone and Judah will be leaving the nest soon. We have come to realize what a short time our children have left to actually spend in our house. As the saying goes, “the days are long but the years are short”. I don’t feel old enough to have a married daughter or a son heading off to university, but I do.
Our family dynamic has shifted, and we now have more “big kids” than “little kids”. Chuck and I realized our focus needs to begin to shift. When you have five babies in three years, its all about diapers and naps and strollers ancar seatsts. But what about when you have four teens and two more about to become teens?
Years ago we used to talk about how we wanted our kids and their friends to hang out at our house. We’d have a ping-pong table, plenty of games and food for them. We’d make sure our place was the coolest place to be. As our teens could tell you, this hasn’t been our house. Most of Apollo’s life we’ve had to limit visitors and practically give them a physical exam before they could hang out here. Now he’s so much healthier and germs aren’t nearly the threat that they used to be. We want our kids to bring their friend’s home and have fun, but we needed a game plan.
Last week Apollo and I headed to Walmart and grabbed this plastic bin and filled it with chips, pop, candy, and TONY’S® Pizza (okay, the pizza is going in the freezer). Chuck and I explained to our teens that we would keep this bin stocked for when they had friends over (this is not a general snack bin or for after school, etc). We want their friends to feel welcome and we want them to be able to have some good old-fashioned fun with them. We don’t buy many packaged/processed foods, and the few we do buy are for school and work lunches. This bin, with these snacks, are reserved for our teens and their friends.
To be perfectly honest, my teens couldn’t wipe the grins off of their faces. They loved the idea! It is out of character for us to buy these foods (unless we are planning a party) but they are totally on board with the idea. And I know perfectly well it wasn’t about the snacks or junk food…it was about the attitude and the effort we had put in.
I bought both Tony’s Pizzeria Style Pepperoni and Tony’s Pizzeria Style Cheese Pizza. My kids wasted no time digging into the cheese pizza with their vegetarian friend, Hayley.
We shall see how it goes. So far, so good. We can’t exactly afford to remodel our house or set up a state-of-the-art media center. What we can do is welcome our kids’ friends, supply a house, some games, plenty of snacks and a friendly smile.
What kind of things do you do to help your kids’ friends feel welcome? How about your teens? Any great ideas about how to make your home more teen friendly?