Here are 7 things I learned from my mom about how to be cool:
1. Welcome friends into your home
As a teenager, my home was filled with friends.
My mom enforced strict rules about where I was allowed to go, but she never put restrictions on who was allowed at our house. When my parents weren't comfortable with me going to a party, they encouraged me to invite friends to our home.
2. Provide fun activities
Most of my friends never wanted to be at their homes because they were "boring." In my home, we had a basketball shooting game, air hockey table, video games, board games and a hot tub.
While younger children can entertain themselves with a few toys, teenagers need engaging activities to keep them out of trouble. If you have fun activities in your home, they'll prefer to spend time there.
3. Keep your pantry stocked with food
The way to every child's heart is through the pantry.
It's a simple technique. If you have the food; they will come. Just the essentials will do the trick: chips, cookies and candy. This doesn't mean you have to eat these things on a daily basis in your home. Instead, my mom had a stash she would hide and bring out for special occasions.
5. Allow them to stay up past bedtime or out past curfew
As a young child, some of my favorite memories were when my parents allowed me to stay up just a little bit later to watch a movie. This simple tactic provides long lasting memories.
When I was a teenager it seemed my curfew was always earlier than my friends. A few times, when my parents trusted who I was with and knew where I was, they would allow me to stay later than normal. This simple allowance strengthened our relationship.
6. Keep some distance
I went to the same high school where my mom was a teacher. Because I was an immature teenager, this was fairly devastating. Although everyone else loved my mom as a teacher, I tried to steer clear of her. She did a great job respecting my privacy. She allowed me to have my own experiences, and she didn't show up in the lunchroom to eat with me.
As a parent, I've had to realize there are times when you simply have to play it cool by giving your child some distance. This often means I refrain from making silly comments on my son's Instagram post, commenting about the way he does his hair, or the hi-top converse he chooses to wear.