There’s always that one house amongst a group of friends that is deemed the, “hangout house.” It’s a safe space where you all go to chill because it’s inviting, the parents are relaxed and you just feel comfortable.
Well, a pastor in California and father of three explains how his house is “that house” for his kids and their friends in a TikTok video that’s now going viral. The father, Jeremy Serrano, also spoke with TODAY.com about why he and his wife prefer being the “hangout house.”
In the video Jeremy Serrano explains, “One of the things that we’ve worked really hard on is being the house that the teenage friends of my children want to hang out at.” The Serranos are parents to three kids, ages, 17, 15 and 12.
Serrano says that they provide activities for the kids to keep them occupied and having fun. From a homemade axe-throwing activity to playing Ping Pong, darts, basketball and, of course, video games, they have a wide-range of options.
But, that’s not all. He also says they make sure to keep the fridge and pantry stocked with their guests’ favorite things to eat.
“My wife and I, we intentionally ask our children’s friends what kind of food and drinks they like and then we make sure that we have those things on hand for them.”
He ends the video with, “It’s just one of the best things that we’ve ever done because we get to know our kids’ friends and then we know that they’re hanging out here.”
When he spoke with TODAY.com, Serrano explained how his childhood motivated him to follow this kind of parenting style.
“I grew up in a Mexican home and my grandmother always welcomed people in; she never locked her doors,” he said. “Jessica’s parents were the same, so we made a concerted effort to give our children’s friends a place to hang out.”
When asked about if they’re worried about things like drugs or alcohol, the father of three responded, “We have boundaries and don’t allow that here. In fact, I’d lose credibility with my children by not providing boundaries.”
A Denver-based family therapist, Sheryl Ziegler, author of “Mommy Burnout,” also weighed in on the Serrano’s parenting strategies.
She says, “When you create spaces that are made for kids and safe for kids, their guard goes down. Sometimes being present is all kids need.”
She adds that parents like the Serranos provide something called, “emotional containers” because they allow children to think for themselves, develop self-awareness and and communicate freely. All while setting boundaries, of course.
As for the Serranos themselves, Jeremy adds, “We get to be involved in our children’s lives. And provide a safe space among chaos in the world.”
The comments on Jeremy Serrano’s video are as encouraging as they are curious about how to achieve being, “that house.”
“more tips on how to be THAT house please ♡♡”
“We did the same thing. Ours are 26/27 now and their friends will stop by randomly. We love it. Well done 👏🏻”
“Thanks for telling us HOW to be that house. I’ve been looking for this advice. Thank you!”