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March 05, 2015 11:40 AM

Do Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell have Jason Bateman to thank for their happiness?

It seems Bell’s Couples Retreat costar gave Shepard, 40, the push he needed to propose.

“Jason was first to go, ‘Stop f—ing around and marry Kristen,’ ” Shepard told PEOPLE at Baby Buggy’s Inaugural Los Angeles Fatherhood Lunch at The Palm in Beverly Hills Wednesday. The event raised money and awareness for the organization’s Fatherhood Initiative, which helps provide meaningful father-child experiences and runs programs including financial literacy workshops.

Shepard also credits Bateman for encouraging him to become a dad – after pushing the marriage talk.

“You immediately transitioned into ‘Get her pregnant,’ ” Shepard continued while standing next to his friend. “I would say you were at the very forefront of cracking the whip on that. And you were dead right.”

Bateman’s influence did work – twice! Shepard and Bell, who wed in October 2013, are proud parents to daughters Lincoln, 2, and Delta, 11 weeks.

When asked if either daughter had reached any milestones recently, Shepard boasted about Lincoln’s early intelligence.

“Our kid just took her first SAT prep course,” Shepard joked. “She did pretty well. There’s always room for improvement.”

When Lincoln isn’t getting a head start on preparing for her college admissions test, she and her dad like to dance before bedtime.

“I’m the in-house dance partner,” he said. “So an hour a night we dance. Some people have story time before bed; we have a full hour dance party. We whip her into a frenzy and then pop her in the tub and then off to bed.”

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