Sure, Kristen Bell may be one of the stars of Bad Moms, but in real life, her parenting tips are incredibly on point, even if they can be a tad unconventional at times. Take, for example, that Bell isn't teaching her kids about Santa Claus. Why? As she recently explained, the actress has some strong opinions about the whole idea of lying to her kids about a jolly magic trespasser, and she's not just being a grinch. Turns out that, when she lays out her case, it actually makes a lot of sense.
Bell talked to TODAY while making the rounds for Bad Moms 2. And since the film is set at Christmas time — one of the most magical (and stressful) times of the year for a mom — Bell delved into her Christmas parenting strategy. As she told TODAY, she loves the traditions of decorating and celebrating with husband Dax Shepard, 4-year-old daughter Lincoln, and 2-year-old daughter Delta. But even as they decorate the tree and wrap the presents, something's holding her back from getting her kids super hyped up about Santa. As the star of The Good Place and Frozen told TODAY:
We have to tell our kid that one night a year breaking and entering is OK and that a dude in a jumpsuit is going to come down the chimney and is going to rifle through our stuff, but it’s OK because he’s going to leave us gifts? That’s a crazy story to tell your child.
Uh, when you put it that way, it does sound a little strange.
And it seems like there's not a whole lot of love lost between Santa and Bell's daughters anyways. Bell and Shepard did try to get Lincoln and Delta in on the Santa spirit once, and it sounds like it went hilariously wrong. The 37-year-old mom told TODAY:
We’ve only met Santa once and it was the obligatory picture where both girls were crying. One girl was hysterically crying and the other one was sort of giving him the stink eye.
When it comes to Santa, Bell also brought up the whole idea of trying not to lie to her children. After all, certain psychologists argue that lying to kids about Santa Claus could have an adverse effect on them, causing them to lose trust in their guardians and setting them up for disappointment. (While I don't remember my own realization that Santa wasn't real, I'll never forget my little brother's anguish when he realized my whole family had been lying to him. So many tears.)
On the other hand, setting out cookies and writing Christmas letters with total, blind excitement can be a magical bonding experience. And Bell knows that. She may have her own thoughts about the creepy jumpsuit dude, but she's not trying to tell other parents what to do. She explained during the same interview:
I hesitate whenever I give advice on parenting because every kid is different, and I’m a firm believer in accepting all advice and figuring out what works for my kids.
When it comes down to it, parents have to decide for themselves just how intense to get about Santa. After all, the only coal-worthy move here is judging and shaming others for their parenting choices. Don't do that — Santa will know.
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