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When you’re a parent, you’ll likely end up fighting with your spouse—arguments are an element of healthy communication, after all. And because your kids are, like, omnipresent, you’ll most likely end up fighting in front of them at some point, too.
While you might worry that arguing in front of the kids sets a terrible example, one of our favourite celeb couples, Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard, have figured out a way to make sure their disputes are always turned into teaching moments.
Here’s what works way better than forcing your kid to say sorryHow? They use the opportunity to role-model the best way to apologize and make up.
In a recent interview with PopSugar, Kristen talked about how Dax came up with the idea to make sure to apologize post-fight while their kids are listening. “Parents can get testy with each other, and what children witness is the fight, [but] they never witness the resolution, so how on earth are they supposed to know how to make up with people?” Kristen said. “I let them witness apologies a lot. Don’t be scared of apologies!”
So true, right? It’s such a great idea. After all, it’s one thing to tell your kids to apologize, but it’s so much more powerful to show them a real-life example of it.
Now, this doesn’t mean that Kristen and Dax stay angry each other as they wait until the kids are around to make up—that would be a bit weird. All it means is that they simply do it again when the kids there (which might feel a bit staged, but hey, they are both actors).
Here’s the example Kristen offered:
“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.’”
We know no parent is perfect, but it does seem like Kristen and Dax have got this whole mom-and-dad thing down. So thanks, you two, for setting a good example for both your kids and the rest of the parenting world. Keep up the great work!