Kristen Bell, as we are all well-aware, is a celebrity mom who somehow manages to be down-to-earth and weirdly relatable, despite being ridiculously famous. But, like any other parent, she definitely encounters a few hiccups when it comes to her kids and how they behave.
During a recent interview with Today to promote Neutrogena, Bell talked about how, as a parent, she encourages her kids to take ownership for their feelings and not apologize for them — and how she chooses to not talk down to them when they’re upset or having a tantrum.
“I stopped saying, ‘It’s OK,’ to anything in their lives,” she says. “My older daughter gets embarrassed a lot, and I don’t say, ‘It’s OK. It’s OK.’ I simply sit next to her and I say, ‘Do you feel embarrassed?’ And she’ll say, ‘Yes.’ And I say, ‘I feel embarrassed, too, sometimes. Sometimes I trip and I feel embarrassed or I break a bowl and I feel embarrassed. I used to feel embarrassed a lot more as a kid, but as you become an adult, some of that stuff goes away.'”
Bell notes that trying to extinguish her children’s outbursts is kind of like telling them that their feelings are shameful, somehow.
“I think saying, ‘It’s OK,’ all the time doesn’t do anyone any favors. It just makes them subconsciously think that they’re not supposed to be having those feelings.”
She does admit, though, that there are times and places for crying and having tantrums, and she definitely doesn’t condone her kids’ screaming and crying when it disrupts other people.
“We tell them to have any feelings — even if it’s a tantrum and they’re screaming and crying,” the actress added. “I say, ‘You know what? You are allowed to be sad right now. You are allowed to be angry — that’s OK. But, you cannot be angry and sad in the middle of the living room while we’re having dinner. You’re welcome to go up to your bedroom and cry, but you’re not allowed to ruin everybody else’s evening because you’re having a tantrum.'”
So, basically: Kristen Bell likes to treat her kids with respect, as though they’re mature adults. Crazy concept, right??
It definitely makes you reconsider whether or not talking to young kids in high-pitched voices is totally lame and patronizing.