Thursday, January 28, 2010

Teen nights

We've always encourage our home to become the "teen hangout". For many years now in fact, this has been our slogan, bring them home, let's meet and get to know them.

The two teens currently living at home are our third double batch, the older four were used to being able to bring home friends just like these ones are.

This new home of ours serves a purpose. We wanted a home with a larger gathering room to continue with our parental philosophy of "everyone welcome" and our policy of "everyone or no one" ruling.

To date, especially since the beginning of the new schooling year, teens seem to LUV flocking to our home. And since we're used to the hubbub these multi-teen visit are consumed with, we invite them into our lives with pleasure.

They walk our dogs together, shoulder to shoulder taking up the entire width of the roadways as they complete this task. As our present weather consists of much snow, outdoor play is often the case after the dog walking.

They are a newly formed bunch, many new to the area themselves and so fun when they gather in a group setting.

Oh sure, they are noisy especially when battling out a tournament with all playing Wii games together!

Oh sure, they are hilarious actually!

And they are kind to the younger siblings living here, they are courteous and they have no problem carrying out a grand conversation with us, the parents. They say a prayer before their meal, they watch out for one another, they support one another by attending each other's hockey games, choir performances, and other activity groups.

A few have thought to seek us out on facebook and ask to be friends. I think that is a compliment myself. We really like this group who hang around here, we do.

But we wouldn't have it any other way. And besides, it's different than our older children because there are no babies to wake up early in the evening anymore, only tweens and teens living here.

It feels like our teens have finally "arrived" and become settled here, all good things. They've truly formed a great group of friendships together, with other sibling groups included in the fold.

Ages are varied, something homeschooling kids are known for, and this is true socialization - learning to be with anyone of any age group. We encourage younger siblings of friends to come along, and they do, rather when the older sibling brings them.

The group consists of approximately a dozen regulars, and they've even assigned their group a name with a Facebook page to upload photos and memories made together. At first glance, they can appear a bit rowdy with all the laughter they exude, but they're a great bunch who love to hang around my husband and myself to boot. Too funny.

Last week, the teens invaded our home yet again in the later afternoon. We are a fairly informal bunch living here, so they appreciate how I treat them, making them quite comfortable.

They all know they are most welcome, but heh - you wanna eat here on a big night like the one below - either help make the food or pitch in to help clean it up, hehehe. Actually we do this on purpose you know; they feel like part of the gang, they have teamwork and they make a memory together.

So they comply by rolling up their sleeves and pitching in. Some say they never do that at home but love to help in the kitchen here. Funny how that works huh?

When it was time for all to depart for the evening, all remarked how great their evening was, at least for the ones able to attend this time on this particular day together. It was truly heart warming to hear them all comment to our teens and thanking them for having them over. Nice.

So we encourage the teen visits, come one or come all.