Seven years ago, she and her husband built an 8,000 squarefoot home on nearly 13 acres in Trussville, Ala., so they would have room for a heated pool and hot tub. After Friday night high school football games, her daughters would often pile in with eight or nine girls (plus boys who were eventually sent home) for a swim or sleepover. Besides swimming, the kids could play Ping Pong, pool or video games.
But parents who open their doors to the masses say the upsides are being able to keep tabs on their kids, getting to know their friends well and gaining a peek into their tender worlds.
by throwing in a load of laundry or offering snacks.
"They know when they come over to our house, there's no pretence," Kasky says. "They can just have a good time. It's good, clean fun."
Another hangout house parent, Jeff Kasky, says it's not necessarily what's in his five bedroom home that All Black Converse High Tops Size 8
"There are parents who, in order to be the cool house, have had to relax that rule and say as long as you are in Converse Rainbow the house you can have a drink," Kasky said. "That's not acceptable to me for teenagers."
of munchies and a relaxed attitude toward your kids bringing home a friend or five and you may just find that your place has become the place where tweens and teens want to be.
A hangout house is often the first spot kids think to gather to work on a school project or binge on the latest Xbox game or silly YouTube videos.
"I have girls, so it's very important to have them here," said Tammy Smith, 48. "I felt safer with them being here. The best way to keep your kids and their friends where you can see them is to own a pool and a pool house."
Two years ago, the Smiths added a $115,000 open air pool house, decked out with fireplace, large TV, refrigerator, two grills and couches, to make the pool area attractive year round.
"I'm not going to tell them to keep their voice down for no reason," he said.
Kids play on gaming systems or watch football on the 120 inch, high definition TV with surround sound, enjoy the fire pit, practise musical instruments and "just lie all over the place" on couches and recliners.
Since Kasky is, in his own words, a "fairly immature 46 year old," he gives his kids leeway to get a little rowdy as long as the antics stay positive.
makes it a draw; it's his relaxed yet not overly permissive approach.
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"There are some houses that are sort of like magnetic," says Dana Points, editor in chief of Parents magazine. "A hangout house is well stocked, welcoming, casually decorated and not too fussy, and where there's an adult present, but on the periphery."
"It's nice to know they're safe because they're outside with music on, plenty of food and drink versus a movie theatre parking lot," Smith said, adding that now, at ages 19 and 24, her daughters still regularly invite friends over.
'Hangout house' keeps kids close
Sure, with more kids around you can count on some extra cleanup or home repairs, a louder than usual roar, and the expense of keeping kids in chips, cookies and (maybe even) baby carrots.
A father of boys ages 12, 13 and 16, Kasky resides on a kid filled cul de sac in a gated community in Delray Beach, Fla., with his fiancee, who has a seven year old daughter. The four kids enjoy having friends over, especially the two older boys.
Supervision is crucial during the teen years, when kids may try to sneak sips of a Bud when the lights are low during a movie. Parents can subtly remind kids of their presence Converse Shoes Womens Size 8
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