Cre­ate a teen-friendly space at home

The Prince George Citizen - The Citizen - Real Estate Weekly - - Real Estate Weekly -

Teenagers are busier than ever be­fore. But even the busiest teens need places to un­wind and re­lax with friends. Many par­ents as­pire to cre­ate that type of en­vi­ron­ment in their homes but don’t know where to be­gin. Hav­ing teens close by and in­ter­act­ing with them on a reg­u­lar ba­sis can ben­e­fit fam­i­lies. Data from the Na­tional Cen­ter for Ed­u­ca­tion Statis­tics notes that parental in­volve­ment cor­re­lates to higher grade point av­er­ages. Re­search from the Na­tional High­way Traf­fic Safety Ad­min­is­tra­tion says cer­tain par­ent­ing styles, in­clud­ing those that set rules and mon­i­tor teens in sup­port­ive ways, de­velop kids who are more likely to wear seat belts while driv­ing, while such sup­port also low­ers crash risk. In­volved par­ents also may re­duce the chances of teen drug use and pro­mis­cu­ous be­hav­ior. Par­ents who want to keep teens nearby can cre­ate hang­out spa­ces at home that make it easy for teens to feel com­fort­able with their friends. These “teen caves” can be pri­vate but per­mit su­per­vi­sion when nec­es­sary. With a few mod­i­fi­ca­tions, it’s pos­si­ble to trans­form a room in a home into a teen-friendly hang­out space. • Talk to your chil­dren. In­volve teens in the process of ren­o­vat­ing a home to cre­ate a spot in which they would like to con­gre­gate. Talk about el­e­ments they would like to see in the space, whether it be a par­tic­u­lar de­sign style, tech­nol­ogy or ac­tiv­ity.

• Es­tab­lish a shared bud­get. Paint is in­ex­pen­sive and can trans­form just about any room in a sin­gle af­ter­noon. If the room be­ing ren­o­vated is the teen’s own bed­room, al­low him or her to choose the color pal­ette and other ac­cents. Even if it isn’t to your taste, he or she will be proud of the re­sults and may want to share it with friends.

• Have a snack sta­tion. Some teenagers al­ways seem to be hun­gry, and hang­ing out with friends while en­joy­ing food is a pop­u­lar pas­time. When ren­o­vat­ing a room into a teen cave, find a way to make food a fo­cus. In­stall a mini-re­frig­er­a­tor and non-al­co­holic bar where kids can serve snacks to friends. Think about a space you would like as an adult and mod­ify it to be more ac­com­mo­dat­ing to teenagers.

• Add more seat­ing. Hav­ing friends over means hav­ing enough seat­ing to han­dle a small crowd. Bean­bags, cush­ioned benches, a daybed, mod­u­lar seat­ing, and more can en­sure ev­ery­one has a place to sit.

• Make a pri­vate out­door spot. Teen spa­ces do not need to be re­stricted to the in­doors. De­sign ad­vice site Houzz says an out­door es­cape zone that in­cludes com­fort­able seat­ing in a pri­vate area — par­tic­u­larly a spot that can also be en­joyed into the evening — will be a cov­eted spot.

• In­vest in “in­de­struc­tible” ma­te­ri­als. Teenagers are bound to make messes, and hav­ing other peo­ple over means con­tend­ing with a cer­tain mea­sure of dam­age. De­sign the space with in­door-out­door car­pet­ing, water-re­sis­tant fab­rics, dis­tressed wood, and other durable ma­te­ri­als.

Ado­les­cents are al­ways look­ing for spa­ces to gather with­out over­bear­ing adult in­ter­fer­ence. Home­own­ers can cre­ate such spa­ces for their chil­dren in their own homes.

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