How to House A Teenager

Posted by Muriel Ballard on Monday, April 28th, 2014 at 11:35am.

               What?  You don't have a teenager?  Well, the first thing to keep in mind when considering a house for your teenager is that your cute little gurgling baby will BE a teenager in the blink of an eye, so if you don’t plan ahead you’ll be selling and buying a new house in seven to ten years.  If you already have a teenager, you know what you wish you had if you don’t have it.  And if you’ve got the right kind of house for your teenager(s), you are probably all much happier for it!

Buying a house with some extra room that you currently don’t see yourself using can pay off big time in the future, sparing you the upset of moving a settled home, which is arduous and too soon forgotten, like childbirth.

               Unlike the sentiment in Karen Carpenter’s charming croon of love, teenagers actually do not want to be “Close to You” for the most part.  As your child grows they are going to want to have a place in the house where they can go with their friends, where you can’t (obviously) hear them or see them. If you don’t have such a place in your home, they will go to their friend’s homes, or “just out”, where they can express themselves freely.  Their bedroom does not count.  Think about it, do you want them locking themselves in there all of the time with their friends? A place where you are unwelcome? Ideally their bedroom is their sanctuary and study, and a place that you may enter occasionally for nurturing family conversation.  Not that it is taboo to friends, just not the habit.

               A perfect teen home will have a place where they can amuse themselves safely.  Here are some of the things your teenage may want to do:

1)      Play drums with the rock band they formed

2)      Have the whole volleyball team over for a sleepover

3)      Play their music really loud while they splash paint their bedroom

4)      Try to set the new world record on Dance Dance Revolution (a great deal of floor pounding involved)

5)      Have their entire friend group over to get ready for the prom

6)      Play darts, ping pong, pool and, of course, video games

And these are the more wholesome activities…  If you provide space for your teenager to expand and express themselves, they will return to you refreshed and, if you are very lucky, perhaps even share a story or tidbit with you…

               So, when buying a home for your teenager look for a place with a bonus room of some sort where they could watch a program or play games with a variety of friends, where you don’t have to hear or see everything.  Trust me you will want to be watching and listening to things other than they choose, so there will be many less fights if that is not a constant negotiation.  Also, they will want to have sleepovers, so this extra room can ideally accommodate six sleeping (HA!) bodies NOT right next door to YOUR bedroom.

               Your ideal teen home should have a separate bathroom where they can contemplate and groom themselves; their pores, their teeth, whatever…

               Ideally there is a safe outdoors where they can go run or ride their bikes while chiseling their young forms to perfection.  But this is a tad less important as they will find a way. Also, it would be best if your home is not too close to a known "hang out" spot, where bored humans lurk around and get into trouble. 

               The bottom line is, don’t under buy.  Be wary of getting a charming little home for your charming little family because as soon as they get into school your whole world is going to expand.  Your house will feel too small very quickly.  The more fun your home is, the more the other kids and their parents will be around.  And that is GOOD for your kid, and lots of fun for you!

I would also like to note that pools and hot tubs are also very pleasing to teenagers and children in general, and those who have them have more kids at their houses throughout the years.

If you are turned off by the idea of having lots of kids around, pray tell what attracted you to this article? ;-)

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