Kristen Bell: In A Good Place

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Kristen Bell may be currently starring in The Good Place, raising two young daughters, and promoting a variety of causes through wide-ranging philanthropic work, but she still has time to reflect on the values she stands for and the kind, charitable qualities she aims for her girls to embody every day. In the November 2016 issue of Parents, Kristen dishes on the philosophies that center her busy life and offers tried-and-true advice on everything from the flu shot to ballet class worries to judgmental parent friends, and most importantly, why it pays to take your time when teaching kids how to (and want to) be generous. She also reveals why she poses with an adorable stuffed giraffe in her cover story!

Why joining Parents this month makes sense:
“It’s an especially exciting month to join the editorial team at Parents because that little thing called the presidential election is upon us. Don’t worry, I’m not advising you to explain bipartisan discord to your toddler, but I’ve definitely been thinking about how best to use this moment in time as a teaching opportunity for my girls. The same ideals that we ingrain in our children apply to us adults as we choose our national leader. We encourage kids to listen, to play nicely. We teach them to be accepting and respectful of differences. Above all else, we show them kindness is key. So when you’re explaining to your child why your neighbor doesn’t like the sign in your front yard, it will benefit everyone to approach the conversation through those tenets. After all, despite vast differences, we are, at our core, the very same. We are all skin, bones, and beating hearts. “

On being part of “Team Human:”

“I think of all people as my kids. How would I want them to be treated? I think everyone has a great internal kindness barometer, if you can awaken it. I’ve had plenty of great examples of kindness in my life. The way I see it, we are all on Team Human, and I tell my kids that the world is just our extended family.”

On teaching children how to give:
“It helps them to look past boundaries. I don’t want my kids to be restricted by country lines, religious beliefs, or languages. I want them to see the whole of mankind: It makes everything less scary, more accessible. Charity teaches our kids that what we have is not who we are. It’s not about who has a house with a pool, the most toys, or the coolest clothes. Feeling attached to possessions can cause a child to identify and value his or her self-worth based on materialism. My wish is that my kids are able to discern between what’s disposable in life and what’s not.”

On the moment you become an adult:

“I think you become an official card-carrying adult the day you realize you just have to get over it. Most petty annoyances are a sample math equation: You + someone/something = positive outcome/negative outcome. Since you can’t control anyone else’s actions, you can only affect 50 percent of that equation. But when you relinquish control over the other half, your 50 percent turns into 100 percent and your sum is almost always positive.”

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