Dad Explains Why He Deliberately Made His House The 'Hangout House' For His Teenagers & Their Friends

It's an important lesson all parents should embrace.

group of teen boys smiling Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock

Angsty, irritable, flamboyant — teenagers can be a full-time job for a parent. Not only is it incredibly difficult to navigate when they’re with you, but it can be even harder when they’re not. 

Being a teenager is a glimpse at adulthood — always wanting to adventure out, explore new places with friends, and have time to learn about themselves. It’s a new stage, which can be anxiety-inducing for parents. But, mostly, parents just worry that they’re safe and happy. 


One dad made it his mission to make sure that his teenagers, and all of their friends, always felt that way — safe, happy, and at home.

A dad opened his home to all of his teenager's friends, aspiring to be the safe space for 'hangouts' — something he always wished he had growing up.

Rev. Jeremy Serrano said he "works really hard" to make his home a safe space for his teenagers and their friends. Advocating and speaking to parents, he shared the steps he took to make his home "The Home" for all his teenager’s hangout sessions. 

"One thing that we, my wife and I, work really hard at is being the house that the teenage friends of my children want to hang out at," he said.


RELATED: The Easy Parenting Hack Even Overwhelmed Moms Use To Really Empower Kids

Serrano emphasized that it’s not just opening your doors and letting your teenagers huddle together in their bedroom; rather, it's opening your mindset to get to know them. And being the adult that truly cares makes them feel welcome.

Serrano created their "hangout house" in a variety of ways, building and incorporating activities like axe throwing and basketball to keep their teenagers and their friends occupied. 


"We have activities for them," Serrano mentioned. “I built an axe throwing thing, we have basketball, we have all kinds of stuff."

Even though this part is important — the appeal of fun at their house for the teenagers — it isn’t the most important part of the hangout mindset as parents. The couple is also sure to stock their pantry and fridge with all the teenager’s "favorite foods and drinks."

"We intentionally ask our children's friends what kind of food they like, what kind of drinks they like, and then we make sure that we have those things on hand for them," Serrano said.


Asking these teenagers questions about their likes and interests and actually listening is part of their great parenting style. Not only are these parents getting to know the friends in their children’s lives, but they’re also giving them a safe place to relax and have fun.

RELATED: A Mom Says She Used Manifestation To Make Sure Her Teen Stayed Out Of Trouble — And It Worked (For Her Anyway)

Serrano and his wife having an empathetic attitude makes the teenagers feel welcome.

After parents continued to ask questions and comment on Serrano's video, he took it upon himself to make a follow-up video to assist these parents in their mindset. 

@jeremypserrano It takes intentionality, capacity, and hospitality. #bethathouse #parenting #parentingtips ♬ original sound - Rev

"It's one of the best things that we've ever done. We get to know our kid's friends and we know that they'll be hanging out here... The first thing that it takes is intentionality," he stated plainly. 


Wishing that you had a home where your kids want to hang out, and actually making a change so they do, creates an incredible difference. And for parents who truly want to build that space for their teenagers, they can learn a lot from Serrano.

"You need to have the desire to want kids in your home. That means that you have to have this internal capacity to deal with the chaos that teenagers bring," Serrano added. But in addition to wanting to be "The Home" for teenagers, Serrano mentioned that parents must have a "disposition of hospitality."

"Welcome kids when they come over, invite them back when they leave, tell them that their presence was delightful to have in your home," he explained. 

RELATED: A Mom Says She Checks Her Kids Out Of School For Any Reason They Want — 'It's A Beautiful, Sunny Fall Day'


Serrano then shared a heartfelt moment he had with one of his teenager's friends, something that reminded him of why he crafted the safe space to begin with. After spending the day at his home, one teenager said, "I'm moving in here!" Smiling, Serrano happily responded, "Well, then my prayers have been answered." 

"That really touched them," Serrano said about being like a second parent to his children’s friends. 

The goal of having a hangout home is all about making teenagers feel safe, welcome, and treated with kindness.

Research has found that teenagers are at a higher risk of loneliness, mostly due to the prefrontal cortex not being fully developed until around age 25. But for Serrano and his wife, their actions have helped these teens not feel so alone.


Showing them kindness will pay off in the future, because not only will these teen boys feel more appreciated and loved, but they will spread that same sentiment to others. In fact, studies say that when you are kind to someone, they are more likely to do acts of kindness for another person. 

That's exactly the kind of attitude Serrano is instilling in these teens. He's not only giving them a place to hangout, he's treating them in a way that will give them the tools to grow into well-rounded adults.

So, whether you're an advocate for teenagers or just a parent looking to revamp their home, these amazing tips about kindness and intention will transform any teenager's relationship with their friends and family.


RELATED: A Mom Beautifully Reframes The Saying 'You Only Have 18 Summers With Your Kids' To Show Parents They Have So Much More Time

Zayda Slabbekoorn is a News & Entertainment Writer at YourTango who focuses on health and wellness, social policy, and human interest stories.