Firm funny famous parent faves Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard are positively brimming with self-awareness and their approach to nutting-out conflict in front of their two small daughters is similarly down-to-earth.
The first rule of Parent Fight Club?
Kristen’s just revealed the couple’s excellent approach to dealing with unplanned squabbles in front of their kids and it can teach all families good things about honesty and accountability.
To be fair, it was her husband who came up with their very important Parent Fight Club rule, but it was Kristen who spilt the beans in the hopes of helping other stoushers, so she’s the one who gets our props.
“One thing my husband invented – he said, ‘Let’s make a commitment to always make up in front of our kids,” Kristen said in an interview with PopSugar.
“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?”
Read more about relationships:
- 6 common relationship hurdles parents face and how you can work through them
- How to parent through partner disagreements
- Constance Hall’s VERY accurate new mum truths : “You’re gonna get angry”
The apology approach
How indeed?! We’re huge fans of Kristen and Dax’s very kind, demonstrative fight follow-up strategy.
This respectful modelling of ‘make-up behaviour’ helps children process what they’ve witnessed and understand how feelings shift while love remains constant. It also means they’re able to begin applying similar kindness in their own relationships.
“Even if we have a testy afternoon or a testy evening and we make up in the bedroom later … 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 apologise 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 apologise because you don’t deserve that’.”
Kristen says sorry doesn’t need to be the hardest word at all. “I let them witness apologies a lot. Don’t be scared of apologies!”
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To the man mocked me in our wedding photos because I cried too many tears of joy, Who wore a baby Bjorn for 2 straight years to show his girls how to be as adventurous as possible, Who held our dear little shakey mann pup for 8 hrs straight on the day we had to put him down, I know how much you loved using. I know how much it got in your way. And I know, because I saw, how hard you worked to live without it. I will forever be in awe of your dedication, and the level of fierce moral inventory you perform on yourself, like an emotional surgery, every single night. You never fail to make amends, or say sorry when its needed. You are always available to guide me, and all of our friends, with open ears and tough love when its needed most. You have become the fertilizer in the garden of our life, encouraging everyone to grow. I'm so proud that you have never been ashamed of your story, but instead shared it widely, with the hope it might inspire someone else to become the best version of themselves. You have certainly inspired me to do so. I love you more than I ever thought I could love anyone, and I want you to know, I see you. I see how hard you work. You set an excellent example of being human. Happy 14th year sobriety birthday, @daxshepard. Xoxo