Kristen Bell is opening up about how she and her husband Dax Shepard try to be as open and honest with their kids as possible.
In a new interview for Real Simple magazine, Bell, 42, spoke about the importance of open communication with her daughters Lincoln, 9, and Delta, 8. “I hate the word ‘taboo.’ I think it should be stricken from the dictionary,” the Good Place actress shares. “There should be no topic that’s off the table for people to talk about. I know it’s shocking, but I talk to my kids about drugs and the fact that their daddy is an addict, and he’s in recovery, and we talk about sex.”
“There are all these ‘hard topics’ that don’t have to be if you give the person on the other end your vulnerability,” she adds, “and a little bit of credit.”
Shepard, 48, has long been candid and open about his past struggles with substance abuse, and the pair have often commented on the effect it’s had on their relationship. “When I met my husband, he’d just recently started to be in recovery. If he found a pill, he’d be gone for three days. He’d miss Christmas and do lots of things that are inarguably bad things,” Bell recalled. “I was a goody-goody with a temper. He was vulnerable and communicative. That scrambled my brain, because I was like, ‘I’m the one who does things right, OK? ‘And he was like, ‘But you don’t, because you’re scared to say what you really feel.'”
“It was hard for me to say when something scared me. I realized that when I talked more about my fears, I gained more respect from not just my husband but everyone in my life,” the Veronica Mars alum explained. Bell then praised her husband for pushing her in a constructive way. “My husband keeps my mind and heart open and moving forward every single day because he’s a challenger. We disagree about 99 percent of the things on earth, which is just fun and interesting.”
Being open, vulnerable, and held accountable has all helped the couple’s marriage. They try to instill these same values in their young daughters. “Making amends and apologizing is an important thing in our family, because humans leave carnage wherever they go,” Bell says. “I really respect when someone does something wrong or hurtful and they apologize. I’m like, ‘Yeah, right on.’ That’s important. If there’s one thing I want to teach my kids, it’s how to make amends,” she adds. “And that it’s for themselves, so they can like who’s in the mirror a little bit more.”