As a parent, I’m always trying to find ways to get my daughter more involved in “family stuff”. This is especially true when they’re all grown up and now do what they want to. They have their own likes and dislikes; they’re involved in various activities and cultural differentiations that we can hardly keep up with. Young teenagers are waking up to the world that they live in and learning how to take advantage of it. New technology, music, food, art, literature everything that we’re used to, they are now understanding on a deeper level. The family home shouldn’t be like a prison for them then. Parents have got to make more of an effort to create atmospheres that foster teenage behaviour. How can a father or mother complain about their children not being interested in stuff they like, when they won’t accommodate their children? So the question is, how can our family hovels change so that parents and children both have things to do together within the four walls?

Cinematic experiences

Hey, it makes perfect sense to go out with the kids and watch a movie together in a cinema. Do you really feel comfortable though? Other people are snacking and chewing, not enough space for your legs, people whispering despite ‘silence’ signs hanging everywhere. It’s about time you changed all this and allowed the entire family to watch whatever they want whenever you want. Modern systems allow for the ideal home cinema to be installed right into your home. Working with an expert team who will scout your home and make all the proper checks and plans, the time from plan to work getting started is impressively short. Assuming you’re not in the middle of renovation whereby the wiring will become infused in the home’s structural network, it can still be made seamlessly to blend into the background. With the advent of smart technology, a home cinema system just wouldn’t make sense if it was to be manually operated so everything, is done by a touch-pad system. The Control4 software allows the user to make a few simple taps on a smartphone or tablet and the latest movies and shows go straight to your new personal big screen.

It’s a family cave, but that’s also a home cinema. You don’t really want to feel like you’re in an actual cave thus the lighting and sound systems are installed along with the wiring, screen and software enabling. The Control4 system again, allows for complete control of the entire room and the lighting is just the same. You don’t have to get up from your cosy position to turn the lights on or off, pause the movie or turn down the volume. The company will strategically place the lighting, so the room is well-lit when you need it to be. The cinema will be a nail screen, so either a television or a projector are your two choices. Bear in mind the screen is no lightweight in terms of size, as it’s a healthy 100 inches. An HD projector goes with it, and you’re ready to rock n’ roll. Don’t worry about the acoustics and any issues it could throw up as the team have it under control. The focus will be to keep the sound in and reverberating around the room with minimal penetration to the outside. This means high-resolution speakers will be subordinate to the acoustic design of the room.

A common room

With children enter into their teens, their school life changes. They go up a tier, and they’re now being slowly introduced to a more adult-like lifestyle. A common room exists for them at school whereby now that they are heading into more complex classes, they can come sit and relax. Normally these are a large open room with comfortable seating. You could mimic this for your home and break up the monotony of a stereotypically mundane house. It’s actually relatively cheap to do so as well as there’s nothing complicated about a common room.

First of all, you need to pick a room that you’re happy with changing. Make sure it’s not a small bedroom and in fact preferably if you can, a room that’s on the ground floor. For example, if you have a dining table in the kitchen but also have a large open plan consisting of the living room and dining room, you’re kind of doubling up. Use the dining table in the kitchen for family meals, and change the dining area into the common room.

Clear everything out, first of all, no cabinets, no drawers, no dining table and chairs; everything has to go. What you need to think about next is, how could you make this room a place to come a chill. Get your teenage children to help you; it can be a project that you can bond over. A cascade of bean bag chairs that fills the room from end to end makes a great start. You get the feeling of wanting to spread eagle your arms, close your eyes and just fall back into them when you enter the room. Buy a small speaker system so they can listen to music as well. A USB speaker is the best option as they can load up and play songs from their smartphones. A small coffee table that’s low to the ground put in the centre of the room to put drinks and snacks on adds to the vibe of encouraged laziness.

When you think about it, it’s not hard accommodating for teenagers. Now that you’re older and have children, it doesn’t mean you should put up a wall in your mind and not relate to them at all. You were a teenager just like them once, so you know what kind of stress and relief you went through. Never make your kids hate their home and see it as a place where parents keep them locked up. Watch the latest films together and talk about them as a family. You want them to get out of their bedroom once in a while? Then you need to make a relaxing room for downstairs so they can get away from computer screens and just lay back with a good book or snack.


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