Scheduling a successful hangout can be stressful, especially for teenagers who do not have much practice. Here are a few steps you can take to support your teenager in scheduling and executing a successful hangout.

If your teenager really wants to get together with a peer or friend, but they are not sure how to set up a hangout, take some time to teach and practice the following steps with them to maximize success before they attempt to extend a hangout request.

  1. Have them think of the person they want to hang out with and create a list of what that person likes to do. This list will help them find ideas for things they can suggest when asking the peer or friend to hang out.
  2. Once they have the list, look at it and have them circle all the things on that list that they enjoy too. These are things they have in common with the friend or peer. Inviting someone to a hangout over something in common makes the hangout feel easy and fun and maximizes the chance for social success.
  3. Then, have them pick a place where they would plan to enjoy the common interest together. Do they have gaming in common? They can meet up at an arcade or invite the friend over to play video games.
  4. Next, pick a day and time. Have them practice checking in with you to ask what options could be offered when inviting the peer or friend to hangout.
  5. Then, have them identify how they are going to get there. Have them practice checking in with you to get this information.
  6. Once they have the What, Where, When, and How questions answered about their hangout, they are almost ready to invite their friend or peer.
  7. Before they do, practice giving the friend or peer an out and remind your teenager that not every hangout invitation gets accepted and that’s ok. Sometimes this is because the day and time does not work, and they can work out different details and other times it’s because the person does not want to hangout. If this happens, it’s important to keep trying. If the person is not interested, pick someone else who shares a common interest and follow the above steps again!
  8. Have them practice with you by pretending you are the friend they will ask. Make sure they include all the details. If they miss something, give them feedback, and have them practice again until all the details are included.
  9. Once they’ve practiced a couple of times and feel confident with what they will say, they are ready to extend the invitation. They can text the friend or peer if they have their information or ask them when they see them next.
  10. Lastly, stay positive!  Even if the first (or second) request isn’t successful, don’t lose hope or let your child sense your frustrations.

Hitchcock, C., Chavira, D., Stein, M. (2009) Recent findings in social phobia among children and adolescents. Journal of Psychiatry and Related Science, 46(1), 34-44.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Social anxiety disorder. National Institute of Mental Health. Retrieved March 1, 2022, from

About the Author

Justyna Balzar, M.Ed. BCBA LBA (CT) Co-Founder & CEO

Justyna Balzar has over 15 years experience with learners of varying profiles between the ages of 3 to 18 across multiple settings. She received her Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA) certification in 2014 from Florida Institute of Technology, her Master in Curriculum and Education in Applied Behavior Analysis from Arizona State University, followed by her BCBA certification in 2016.