Kristen Bell says no topic is off limits for her daughters

Kristen Bell says she talks to her kids about their father's addiction.  (Photo: Chrisean Rose/REAL SIMPLE)

Kristen Bell, in a new interview for really simple, she says she talks to her children about their father’s addiction. (Photo: Chrisean Rose/REAL SIMPLE)

Kristen Bell has no problem getting vulnerable.

The mom of two opened up about the fun side of marital disagreements and the importance of discussing difficult topics with her kids in a recent interview with Really simple.

“I hate the word ‘taboo.’ I think it should be crossed out of the dictionary,” Bell said in “The Sit Down with Kristen Bell” video, part of the Game Changers Issue:

“There shouldn’t be any topics for people to talk about. I know it’s shocking, but I talk to my kids about drugs and their dad’s an addict, and he’s recovering, and we talk about sex,” she said, explaining that children are often more capable of understanding than is believed.

“There are all these ‘hard topics’ that don’t have to be if you give the person on the other end your vulnerability and some credit,” she said.

Bell shares her two daughters, 9-year-old Lincoln and 8-year-old Delta, with husband Dax Shepard, who has opened up about his journey with substance abuse.

“When I met my husband, he was just starting to recover. If he had found a pill, he would have been gone for three days. He would have missed Christmas and done a lot of things that are indisputably bad.” she said.

But through her battle with addiction, Bell says she’s been able to tap into a more vulnerable side of herself thanks to her ability to express her emotions in their rawest form.

“I was a good-goody with a temper. He was vulnerable and communicative. That messed with my brain, because I was like, ‘I’m the one who gets things right, okay? ‘ And he was like, ‘But you don’t , because you’re afraid to say what you really feel.’ It was hard for me to tell when something scared me. I realized that when I spoke more about my fears, I earned more respect from not only my husband but everyone in my life,” she said.

She also explained that the two don’t always get along, but rather than a point of contention, their disagreements have become one of the more “fun” aspects of their partnership.

“We disagree about 99% of the things on earth, which is just fun and interesting. I often feel underqualified, whether for an acting scene or a parenting moment. When I’m feeling shaky about my day, I say to my husband: ‘I like doing this, but I don’t really know what I’m doing.’ And he says, ‘All you have to do is get the project to the finish line.’ When I think about it like that, I realize that I might actually be good at it,” he said.

In addition to the importance of vulnerability and communication, Bell also wants her kids to be able to admit when they’ve been wrong. An inevitable part of life, he says.

“Making amends and apologizing is a big thing in our family, because humans leave carnage wherever they go. I really respect when someone does something wrong or hurtful and apologizes. I’m like, ‘Yeah, that’s right.’ “That’s important. If there’s one thing I want to teach my kids, it’s how to make amends, and that’s for themselves, so they can appreciate who they look in the mirror a little more.”

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