'Be Patient with Yourself': Kristen Bell's Best Parenting Advice Through the Years
The mom of two has some great advice about being compassionate with both your kiddos and yourself
On Taking a Breath
"Nothing good comes out of my negativity. If that means leaving the room when your kids are driving you nuts, great! Then do it."
On Losing Her Baby Weight
“I didn’t lose my baby weight for over a year. And when I look down, even now, at the extra skin on my belly, it’s a reminder that I’ve done something spectacular. It’s a reminder that I’m a superhero. And I’m proud of it.”
On Doing What Works for You
“I just think you cannot look for external self-esteem. You have to look internally. If you’re confident with what you’re doing even if that’s some weird, bizarre parenting technique that you know works for your kid or you feel happy about, do it! Don’t let anyone tell you you shouldn’t be doing that.”
On Asking Questions About Fairytales
"Every time we close Snow White I look at my girls and ask, 'Don't you think it's weird that Snow White didn't ask the old witch why she needed to eat the apple? Or where she got that apple?' I say, 'I would never take food from a stranger, would you?' And my kids are like, 'No!' And I'm like, 'Okay, I'm doing something right.' "
On Parenting Being Worth It
"Yeah, it's of course it's really, really hard, but so is everything anything worth doing. So is like juicing celery every morning, like nobody wants to wash the damn machine."
—on the Motherly podcast
On Showing Her Kids How to Apologize
"One thing my husband invented — he said, 'Let's make a commitment to always make up in front of our kids.' Parents can get testy with each other, and what children witness is the fight, and they never witness the resolution, so how on earth are they supposed to know how to make up with people?"
“So, even if we have a testy afternoon or a testy evening and we make up in the bedroom later and say, ‘Hey, I’m sorry; I had a long day at work,’ the next morning we come out of our bedroom and, in front of our children, I’ll say, ‘Hey, Daddy, last night at dinner, I felt that I was rude to you, and I don’t think you deserved that. I just wanted to apologize because I had a tough day at work and that made my feelings very frustrated, and I had a hard time being nice and that’s my fault. So I apologize because you don’t deserve that.' "
— to POPSUGAR
On Taking Care of Yourself First
"Be patient with yourself. Put on your gas mask first, because you're useless to everyone else if you're too stressed out. Know when to take a break."
— to CafeMom
On Keeping Mommy Shamers at Bay
"If you walk out of your house worried that people will judge you, you will feel judged. You are setting an expectation that will be inevitable. But there are so many moms and so many people out there who are done with that game of picking sides and having stereotypes and feeling like we're at war with each other. I choose not to label myself under any circumstance. I'm not a good mom; I'm not a bad mom. I'm the mom I am and I try very hard, and when I fail, that's OK."
On Switching Kids with Her Husband, Dax
"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 to not be reactive, we switch kids a lot."
— to Us Weekly
"Everything I ask my children to do in life, I explain to them why."
On Having 'The Talk' with Her Kids
"My daughters once asked how do babies happen and we were eating dinner and my husband said, 'Well, there's a sperm and an ovum ...' and by like, the word 'ovum' they were so bored that they went outside."
On Being Open with Your Emotions
"You don't want to be reactive to your kids. You want to be thoughtful, and you want to be setting a good example ... Sometimes that example is crying in front of them and saying, 'I'm overwhelmed,' or 'I'm sad because of XYZ,' or 'I’m just sad because I’m feeling sad. I’m going to let my sad out. And then I'm going to find a way to cheer myself up.' "
— to PEOPLE
On Canceling Plans
“I don’t let myself feel guilty about not committing to things anymore. How I position it in my head is that I have more of an obligation to my daughters than I do to anybody else.”
— to Redbook
On Staying Real
“In the age of social media, when you can edit your life in beautiful pictures, it’s important to remind moms that all of us are wearing yogurt and all of our hands smell like urine.”
— to Redbook
“One thing I’ve learned as a mom is it’s really important to monitor when they are able to receive your information. We wait until they calm down and then we talk to them.”
— to Us Weekly
On Kids 'Right-Sizing' Her Problems
“What I love the most is how much kids right-size your problems. You don’t really care as much. They just make everything better. So all the things you used to worry about just sort of disintegrate.”
— to Us Weekly
On Teaching Her Kids to Be Compassionate
"I am trying to teach my kids not be stunted by country lines, language barriers, or religious boundaries. And that all human beings, and everyone in the world is part of someone's family and they should be treated as such. It's so simple to get caught up in lines that divide us. Why are you different? I think it's important to remind ourselves that we are all the same and everyone is doing the best they can with what they have."
— to PEOPLE
On Letting Her Kids Feel Their Feelings
“I stopped saying, ‘It’s OK,’ to anything in their lives. 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.’ So, I allow them to have their feelings ― because 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.”
— to HuffPost