She received critical acclaim for her role as the title character in teen drama Veronica Mars and has appeared in a string of other hit movies and television series. Kristen Bell was also the voice of Princess Anna in Disney’s animated fantasy film Frozen – a role she’ll reprise in Frozen 2, due for release in 2019. She and fellow actor Dax Shepard married in 2013 and have two daughters – Lincoln and Delta.
1You can get children to tell you about their day
We’ve all felt the frustration of asking our child how their day went, only to be told it was ‘fine’, or they can’t remember. Bell’s solution was to explain to her girls why she was asking.
She told them: “I ask you about your day and I ask Daddy about his day because we’ve been separated for a few hours and I wonder how you’re feeling…if you experienced something, you want to talk about. Also because I’m interested, and it gives us a chance to reconnect. It makes the other person that’s being asked feel very good and valued. It’s a nice way to show you love someone.”
Not only did it make a difference, but she says the girls ask about her day now, too.
2Let them see you make up after a fight
It’s unrealistic to say you’ll never argue in front of the kids, but seeing parents shout and fight is upsetting. Bell and her husband have agreed they’ll always make up in front of their daughters, too. She believes it’s important for children to learn how to end fights and either make or accept an apology. It also shows them that just because you fall out with someone, it doesn’t mean you don’t love them.
3Don’t get embarrassed about public tantrums
We’ve all been there. That feeling of shame when our child throws a screaming tantrum in the middle of a busy shop. But Bell says we shouldn’t feel that way – a toddler tantrum doesn’t mean we’re bad parents.
“If my child is acting a fool in the grocery store, the embarrassment is on her,” Bell is reported as saying. She believes that kids will be kids – they have bad days just like we do, and we should recognise that.
If we’re embarrassed by their behaviour, she says, it says more about our self-esteem and how much we care about what others think. “She’s going to act the way a child acts, and I’m not going to let that reflect on me or bring me down,” she said.
4Switching kids works really well
During an interview with US Weekly, Bell said she and Dax often work as a ‘tag team’ when it comes to dealing with their daughters. She said that no matter how much you love a child, now and then you need a break. The couple feels it helps them be better parents.
“You don’t want to be reactive to your kids. You want to be thoughtful, and you want to be setting a good example. It’s not about perfection, but it is about being thoughtful. In order not to be reactive, we switch kids a lot,” she explained.
5The ‘one finger’ rule can save the day
Small children can be incredibly destructive. They want to touch everything – especially things they shouldn’t. Bell’s way around it is the ‘one finger’ rule, shared with her by another mother she met.
It’s simple. If your child wants to touch something delicate, like a vase, say: “Oh, I want to touch it too. Let’s use one finger!” It makes it exciting for the child. They get to do what they want and have a feeling of being in control, and you get to keep your delicate objects intact.
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