Angella Dykstra: She Makes Cents


5 Tips For Having A Great Relationship With Your Kids

You can be friends with your kids. Yes, really

My husband and I are far from perfect when it comes to being parents — far, FAR from perfect — but we have really great relationships with our kids. They push boundaries, yes, but that's what kids are supposed to do. They know that we're the "bosses", but they also know that we are their fiercest defenders and advocates. We spend a lot of time together as a family and get along pretty great, for the most part. There are a few things that I think have helped foster our good relationship, and I thought I would share them.

1. Sit down together for dinner. We eat dinner together every night, unless my husband and I are on a date night out. If one of us has a meeting or is out of town, the other one of us still makes dinner and sits at the table with the kids. We talk about our day and to help foster that conversation, we have the kids tell us what the best part of their day was and what the worst part of their day was.

2. Say sorry. Nobody's perfect, including me. If I snap at the kids or raise my voice, I apologize. I'm merely modeling the behavior that I want them to exhibit.

3. Do fun activities together. As much as I like date nights with my husband, I also love when we do something fun as a family. Sometimes it's a hike, sometimes it's a day at the mini golf place, sometimes it's a week on the Oregon Coast. We build memories together, and that tightens our bond.

4. Talk openly with them. I was bullied as a kid, complete with some Mean Girls action. I've talked about this with my kids, and how I didn't feel like I could talk to my Mom about it. I want them to know that I am always here to listen, and so I share struggles that I had at the same age.

5. Break the tension with laughter. Tense moments happen, whether it's my daughter melting down or my son getting a talking to about his preteen attitude. Sometimes we just deal with the situation and walk away, sometimes my husband rips a well-timed fart to make us all laugh.

Being a parent is hard, but it doesn't mean that it can't be awesome as well. What do you do to foster a great relationship with your kids?