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Thread: is your home the hangout house?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Default is your home the hangout house?

    When your kids want to play with the neighborhood kids, do they play mostly at your house or other kids' homes? Mostly my girls and the 2-3 neighbor kids end up here, which is fine for the most part. I'd rather have them here so I can keep an eye on my own kiddos. But there are always issues that are not so fun: my 4 y/o always ends upset because so and s o isn't sharing the swing, she feels left out, somebody looked at her funny, etc. Today I had to put the swings up due to arguing and later ended up sending the neighbor girl home and made our girls come inside because I had already had to intervene several times and had had enough. Not looking forward to the summer at this point!

    If your home is the hangout house, how do you manage playtime and rules?

    (Fyi the kids play outside mostly in our fenced in backyard. I am not usually out with them but can hear and see them thru several Windows throughout the house.)

    ~ Cassie, mama to Madison (8), Ali (4) & Wesley (new dude!)

  2. #2


    My kids are still too young for this, but it sounds like you managed it well. I can remember being sent home from our next door neighbor's house when we would get into arguments or trouble. Their mom was always nice about it - she just said it was time for lunch/rest/alone time and we could try again later. Usually later that day the girls from next door would knock on our door and we would try again at our house. I am sure my mom had to do the same - but I always hated getting in trouble so it stuck with me more when another parent had to say something to me.

    I do like to host when we have playdates at this point, but more so for my younger one. He gets into everything so he is hard to manage at other houses. Just this Friday he managed to pull the loose wooden trim off of my good friend's french doors... It is just easier when I know everything he can and will get into so I can keep him contained better!

    Anne (37) DH (37) Olivia (4) Harrison (1)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013


    My old therapist said that her rule was that each child could have 1 friend over at a time, because the dynamics were out of hand with higher ratios. That seems to be what you're experiencing. From my memory I tend to agree with this, since I would often feel left out in groups, even if it was me + 2.

    Getting along in groups is an important skill, but not one you should feel like you have to teach inside your house--especially if it seems like there's more upset going on that you'd like.
    Natalie [31] DH [40] 9/01, 1/06 NaturallyNatalie's Hair Accessories!

  4. #4


    My house was the hangout house when my son was a teenager. There weren't a lot of kids on our street when my kids were little, but the few that were, they kind of took turns playing at each other houses or they played outside in the cul-de-sac and in our yards. With Katie, she plays outside with the three kids from next door and one from down the street and we just check on her frequently, but they don't often play in each other's houses. Nathan only plays outside when one of us is out there with him, or he plays on the screened-in back porch if he wants to be outside and we can't go out there with him.
    Lynne, Grandma to three beautiful girls and one handsome little man!

  5. #5


    This is what I am actually dealing with now. I hate to sound greedy but, it makes me uncomfortable with the neighbor kids always at our house to play. Why I am concerned about it is because for 1. The parents/ guardians of these kids have not even said "Hey thanks for keeping an eye them" or even a simple "Hey how's it going"? These kids come over on a daily basis and I know for a fact its the old lady that lives in a shoe concept for them. There is a mom, an aunt, a grandma, four kids two of which are school age two of which are younger than 4, a couple of teenagers in their house. I wouldn't doubt if there are ten people in that house plus 1 mama pit and new pups. I feel bad for the kids because I know I am probably one of the adults that actually treats them like they are people. I feel torn because Cody and Sophia enjoy those kids but, at the same time no offense to anyone on here but, that's a total of 6 kids. That's a lot for a woman that is used to her two kids. I am worried about liability so James has come up with a plan if they would do anything dangerous on our property we will send them home. We do not let any them come inside because that's more of a liability and we are still liable no matter what which sucks. The last thing I need is for their person in charge whomever the heck is to sue me. So far the kids listen and when I say its time for us to go inside they go on their marry way so I do appreciate that they listen and I know its just their parents don't play with them and its unfortunate but, overwhelming at the same time. I guess I want to make a wavier of some sort but, I am not sure the aunt will sign it showing that we are not liable for any injury on our property. It want to but, at the same time I doubt they sign it because they let the kids run the neighborhood at all hours of the day and they don't even care that the really ones run around. I guess I would suggest is just keep an eye on things and I personally would not allow them to come inside your home without written consist or if you really, really, really, know that the parents aren't crazy it sounds harsh but, no good deed goes unpunished in this day and age.
    *** Lindsay ***

  6. #6
    3andMe's Avatar
    3andMe is offline Every day is a gift. It's just... does it have to be a pair of socks? Hopelessly Devoted
    Join Date
    Mar 2006


    I don't really have a hangout house because our neighborhood doesn't have that many kids in it, but even with just 2-3 more kids over here we have 6 kids between 3 to 7 years old. It is not too difficult for me to have another couple of kids over after school if another mom gets in a pinch, or when we had short days before Christmas break I hosted a craft playdate for half a day.

    What helps with me is that we either have different groups of kids in different areas doing different things (often some will be out in the back yard playing on the swing and some will be inside coloring or doing crafts and some will be in the kids' room playing with the toys or games or puzzles) or there will be a big group activity that everyone wants to participate in like dress-up clothes or chalk/bubbles, and I have enough for everyone. I guess part of it is that most of the time the people that are over here are already friends with my kids, and not just here by default because they live nearby and our house has kids in it, so they all have more of an impetus to try to get along.

  7. #7


    my kids don't have friends yet. we have been living here for almost 2 years and i see kids that are older than mine, an occasional mommy or 2 walking with a youngin in a stroller but none have been friendly enough to ask to come over to play. the mommies have yet to even wave hello. the families we have spoken to have grandkids that are slightly older than my 2 are.

    of our library friends about half the parents speak english the rest are snobbish and don't do playdates. even though all the kids are about the same age. (it took them about a year to extend a hello back to me when not at the library...)

    i have a good friend from h.s with a boy thats close to Q's age and she will bring him over to play. she lives in town and i live in the country so playing outside is better here and she prefers to bring him here.

    once the kids start having more friends over i would prefer it be here but would also follow the one friend rule. i had that rule as a kid and it worked to keep us neighborhood chicks from having fights over small stuff.

  8. #8


    I only have one kid so managing play time is not really an issue for me but I see nothing wrong with a hangout house if all the kids are well supervised. I'd probably set up certain times when your older one can have her friends over and your younger one can have her younger friends over so they both get age appropriate play. Not that they can't all play together no matter who's over but just make sure the younger isn't overwhelmed with too much older kid play stuff.

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