Actor Kristen Bell shared an interesting take on kids’ tantrums and tricky behaviour in a recent interview, and it might have you rethinking your approach at the (often) much-dreaded supermarket checkout.
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Pity the fool?
Chaunie Brusie at Babble asked the mum to 3-year-old Lincoln and 2-year-old Delta about the most mortifying things her daughters had done in public, and Kristen had a surprising response.
The Bad Moms star reveals she doesn’t allow herself to get embarrassed by the tricky things her kids do. Their challenging antics are not a reflection of her parenting skills, she says.
“If my child is acting a fool in the grocery store, the embarrassment is on her,” Kristen told Chaunie.
Kristen’s not implying that parents aren’t ultimately accountable for or influential in their children’s behaviour, but she’s not going to let this kind of acting out trigger insecurities about her own parenting skills.
“She’s going to act the way a child acts and I’m not going to let that reflect on me or bring me down,” Kristen explains.
“That shouldn’t make me feel ashamed or embarrassed in any way. Only you can make you feel a certain way.”
Aware that feeling constantly judged is weighing heavily on some mums and dads, she reminds us that feeling ashamed in these exhausting moments is a total waste of time.
The mum-of-two suggests carers, mums and dads reframe the way they respond when their kids are behaving like little hooligans or throwing a tantrum in public.
“How I feel about situations is up to me,” she told Babble.
Kristen urged parents to take an active role in rejecting those crippling, embarrassed, ‘bad mum/dad’ feels when our kids are going totally nuts and it seems all eyes are upon us.
“Feelings exist, they are important. They deserve to be felt and processed and then you make your choice after you’ve processed the feeling. Once the negative feeling starts to own you, it’s on you to put it in the trash and let it go. You are the only person that has the power to change your feelings.”
Kristen reminds us of the great Eleanor Roosevelt quote – “no one can make you feel inferior without your consent” – and hopes that parents will stop buying into the perceived judgement of tantrum bystanders.
It’s time for mums and dads to draw a line between their screaming toddler’s behaviour and the value of their parenting efforts.
On almost every single occasion, the two are totally unrelated.