Parenting

Kristen Bell on 13 of parenting's most controversial topics

In an exclusive interview with Today's Parent, actress and mom-of-two Kristen Bell gives us her hot takes on some of parenting's biggest controversies.

All those controversial, tricky parenting issues you struggle with, like whether to co-sleep with your baby or let your preschooler have screen time every night? Celebs struggle with them too!

In our exclusive interview with Frozen and The Good Place star Kristen Bell, we asked for her to briefly share her thoughts on some of those difficult parenting topics. Here’s what she said.

1. Forcing kids to eat vegetables:

“Do I force them? No. Do I explain that vegetables are fuel for their bodies to grow strong, see in the dark, jump high and run fast, and that every meal has to have a colourful plate? Yes.”

2. Letting kids have dessert every night after dinner:

“Absolutely not. Dessert is reserved for special occasions, because you’re crazy on sugar and I can’t handle you and your crazy.”

3. Allowing kids pick their own outfits (even if they look ridiculous):

“One hundred percent yes. That’s a non-starter. Let them be them.”

4. Occasionally skipping a hygiene routine:

“If my daughters are having a fit before bedtime, we skip brushing teeth and go right to bed. You have to cut yourself some slack.

5. Lying to kids:

“I like to be brutally honest. My kids know they’re going to die, they know Santa Claus doesn’t exist (they asked!) and they know that Daddy and I have sex.

6. Time outs as a discipline tactic:

“Once they’re calm, as a consequence? Yes. Or telling them, ‘You need to go to your room to calm down’? Yes. But not if it feels like abandonment. It shouldn’t be, ‘You’re being crazy so now I reject you.’”

7. Making kids share a room:

My girls share a room. It’s very important to me. They’re going to live a privileged life and someone once told me, ‘Always have your kids going through something.’ To me, sharing a space with your sister is what you’re going to be going through. You’re going to have to navigate that.”

8. Co-sleeping:

“Into it. But my husband can’t sleep when they’re in our bed.”

9. Screen time:

“On lazy weekends, we’ll do four or five hours a day. But the only other screen time that’s allowed are school programs. They don’t have phones or play video games.”

10. Cleaning kids’ rooms for them:

“That’s a tough one. If we’re talking Legos, it’s got to be done, because nobody wants that injury. At ages four and six, I’m just now giving them the responsibility to tidy up their own room.”

11. Yelling at kids:

“The child psychologist Wendy Mogel says it’s OK to get angry at your kids, but you never want to make them feel like you regret having them. And when I yell, I don’t yell kindly. So I don’t do that.”

12. Letting kids pee outside:

“I just tell them to pee on the grate, not on the fake grass or the cement.”

13. Leashes for toddlers who bolt:

“Total lifesaver.”