Skip to content

On Home as Social Hub: The Importance of Hosting Our Sons and Their Friends

Note from producer: This conversation was originally published on March 23, 2021, but has been updated and republished on June 13, 2024.

As we look forward to the wide expanse of summer, one thing certainly on our minds is how we can support our sons’ friendships in the absence of school. Turns out, we needn’t look further than our own living rooms. In fact, welcoming our children’s friends into our homes may be the healthiest place for authentic, lifelong friendship to grow.

In a timely rebroadcast from 2021, Assistant Headmaster Tom Royals helps parents to see their homes as a venue for hospitality—one that integrates our children’s social lives with the culture of the home. He especially highlights a vision for hosting teens, who often stray away from home-based gatherings just when it’s most beneficial.


  • 01:45 Begin Interview
  • 02:28 Parents building a culture of home gatherings
  • 06:50 Hosting high schoolers, knowing your home
  • 11:24 Co-ed hosting
  • 12:56 Spontaneous hosting
  • 15:05 Parents working with parents
  • 16:12 Crucial years: establishing this culture before they launch
  • 18:14 Hospitality and the temperaments of your children
  • 20:24 The example of Fr. Robert Kimball
  • 25:28 The role of the father
  • 29:01 Parental presence at teen gatherings: freedom and formation
  • 33:07 Modeling friendship, hospitality

Also on the Forum:

About the Guest

Tom Royals

Assistant Headmaster, Theology

Tom began his tenure at The Heights in 1979. Over the years, he has taught grades four through twelve in the disciplines of English and Religion, held various administrative positions, and was appointed Assistant Headmaster in 1998. Tom holds a BA in English from Providence College. He has served as Varsity and Middle School Swim Coach since 2010, and was named the Washington Metro Private School Swim and Dive League Coach of the Year in 2020, again in 2022, and WCAC Coach of the Year also in 2022.

Learn More

Subscribe to The Heights Forum Newsletter

I'm interested in content for...
Select if you'd like to receive a monthly newsletter specifically for any of these educator roles.
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.