While Kristen Bell is America’s sweetheart, she’s also been in the news quite a lot for her controversial parenting tips and tricks. Often, the stories she shares about daughters Lincoln and Delta are cute and relatable. But other stories will leave you scratching your head.
A few years ago, Kristen faced some criticism after she admitted that 5-year-old Delta wasn’t fully potty trained yet. On an episode of her series Momsplaining With Kristen Bell, Kristen discussed the difference in siblings. She said that while Lincoln was a natural when it came to potty training, Delta had some difficulty. These types of conversations are usually considered private. But Kristen blasted the news in the media.
“My oldest daughter at 21 months, we merely suggested that she use the toilet in the other room,” Kristen told the guests on her show. “[She] never wore another diaper beyond that. And we were lying in bed giggling, my husband and I were like, ‘Why does everyone make a big deal out of this potty training? It’s so easy. Just tell the kid to use the toilet.’ Currently, my youngest is 5 1/2, still in diapers.”
Kristen made headlines for another reason concerning her children. She admitted that she let her daughters drink O’Doul’s, a brand of nonalcoholic beer. Even though she knows she gets a lot of flak for her parenting, she still had no problem sharing.
Kristen talked about it on an episode of the Say Yes! with Carla Hall podcast. Because her husband, Dax Shepard, is constantly working on his sobriety, it seems as if he has plenty of O’Doul’s in the house. The brand is a popular nonalcoholic beer that, from the outside, still resembles a standard beer.
Kristen prefaced her story: “I’m going to get a lot of flak for this. And let me start by saying I don’t care. You’re allowed to give me any advice you guys want, any of these listeners. You’re welcome to tell me I’m a terrible parent. I don’t care. I’m a great parent, I think. I’m learning every day.”
“My husband brought home a six-pack of O’Doul’s last night,” she said. “And my daughters often ask for O’Doul’s.” She said that it even happens in restaurants. On the podcast, she made sure to stress that it is nonalcoholic. While it does fall into that category, the company that makes O’Doul’s has stated that the products have less than 0.5% alcohol by volume — so, it’s not completely alcohol-free.
Ew! I can't believe they even like the taste. I hate beer. I wouldn't want my kids to develop a taste for it. I too thought it didn't have alcohol in it. pic.twitter.com/AhXtkzwvdm
— Mocha (@Mochaq2k) September 16, 2020
She revealed that it all started out as a “sentimental” thing. “When we first had our child and my husband would put her in the BABYBJÖRN and we’d walk around the neighborhood, he’d pop a nonalcoholic beer in his hand and the baby would paw at it and put the rim in her mouth,” she said. “It’s a sentimental thing for my girls, right? It makes them feel close to their dad.”
That, in itself, may seem a little problematic. For one, an infant’s mind isn’t necessarily equating a nonalcoholic beer to her father. But, Kristen and Dax live a life that’s far different from the standard person — and, she seems to stand by this theory. In Kristen’s mind, it’s more of a drink than a beer. “We’re like, ‘I mean, there’s nothing wrong with it. It’s just essentially a bubbly juice.’ Right? There’s nothing in it,” she said.
But the girls have even brought O’Doul’s into their Zoom classrooms, which Kristen admits may make her look somewhat bad to other parents. “They have 15-minute breaks where they’re allowed to jump around and grab a snack and wiggle it out. And I walk in to check on them at 9:30 and both of them are drinking an O’Doul’s on their Zooms,” she said.
@KristenBell umm maybe you don’t realize but there’s a small amount of alcohol in O’Douls. I’m surprised you or a restaurant would serve it to a child.
— Gracie (@PeacefulClover) September 15, 2020
“They’re both just sipping their Doulies. And I’m like, ‘What must these other parents and teachers think of me?'” she added. She also said that having the girls drink the nonalcoholic beer is a good way to talk about Dax’s sobriety, and why he is unable to drink regular beer. But, again — it still does have small traces of alcohol despite the label.
The topic of sobriety, in itself, may be a lot for their children to grasp — especially because Lincoln and Delta view their dad differently than Kristen does. But Dax has never been shy about his sobriety. Dax told Us Weekly how bad his issues really were. “I just loved to get f–ed-up — drinking, cocaine, opiates, marijuana, diet pills, pain pills, everything,” he said. “Mostly, my love was Jack Daniel’s and cocaine.”
“I lived for going down the rabbit hole of meeting weird people,” he added. “Of course, come Monday I would be tallying up all the different situations, and each one was progressively more dangerous. I got lucky in that I didn’t go to jail.” His life was much different from how Kristen grew up.
“Kristen’s a good girl. She grew up very Christian, went straight to college, did great in school and started work immediately. She’s charitable and philanthropic and rescues dogs. So when we met, our backgrounds were opposites,” Dax told Playboy, reports Us Weekly. “All the things I’d done were terrifying to her, and she had a hard time believing I would ever be able to stay married and monogamous and a father and all those things.”
Since, he has proven himself. Despite some stories that may make people question their relationship dynamic, they’ve stayed together since they first got together in 2007. The two have admitted that when they first met, they felt no sparks. But the more they started hanging out, the more they realized their feelings for each other were incredibly strong. That said, Kristen isn’t afraid to speak up about their toxic start.
When they first got together, they often fought. “When we first met, we fell madly in love and I love the dramatic exit. There is nothing I crave more,” she said, reports Insider. “We’d get in a fight because we’d fight a lot, and I’d yell something and then slam the bedroom door, then I’d slam the front door, then I’d get in my car and then I’d skid out the driveway and I would sit around the corner in my car and it felt so good and I realized how incredibly toxic it was only after he pointed it out.” Since then, she’s realized their relationship still requires a lot of work.
While it’s her choice to let her kids drink nonalcoholic beer, at least she’s having the conversation about drugs and alcohol with her children early on. Since Kristen also doesn’t partake much in drinking, it may be a solid message.
“The wine meme is a very funny thing,” she once said, reports HuffPost. “I suppose I take it as generalized ‘kids are stressful.’ I personally don’t have wine every day, but my wine is Netflix and cuddling with my husband or our date night.”