When it comes to celebrity moms dishing out parenting advice, it’s easy for us “regular” moms to feel like they just don’t get it. Between the nannies, chefs, night nurses, and personal trainers, how could they ever understand the struggle of surviving an entire day on reheated coffee or a top knot that’s less fashion statement and more method of survival?
Despite her celebrity mom status, actress Kristen Bell continues to prove that when it comes to motherhood, we’re all just doing the best we can and learning as we go. Bell recently sat down with Today and revealed that she welcomes all different types of parenting advice, including advice from those with parenting styles different from her own.
“I am a parent that actually loves to hear advice from other mothers. I don’t care if your filter is judgmental or altruistic — I still want to hear it because it may be valuable to me,” Bell explained. By being open to everyone’s advice across the board, Bell feels that she can take it all in, explore her options, and figure out what might work best for her young daughters, 4-year old Lincoln and 2-year-old Delta.
Bell also revealed the ways she’s validating her daughters’ feelings by helping them process and communicate their emotions.
“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,'” Bell expressed.
She further explained that she “allows 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.”
As a mom of an extremely sensitive child, who I often try to calm down by using the words “It’s OK”, Bell’s advice offers a better way for me to teach my daughter to express herself. Without dismissing her emotions, I can work through whatever is upsetting her at the time, even if it means allowing her to be upset for a little bit longer.
Bell is also no stranger to the tantrums that often result when her daughters get emotional. However, she’s trying to teach them that while they are allowed to express their emotions, they need to remain respectful to those around them. Bell notes:
“We tell them to have any feelings — even if it’s a tantrum and they’re screaming and crying. 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.'”
Celebrity status or not, I think moms everywhere can agree, nothing says “motherhood” like a perfectly timed tantrum just as we sit down for our first warm meal of the day.