Actor Dax Shepard and his wife Kristen Bell have become kind of models for honest parenting. That willingness to be super honest about their struggles with parenting made it extremely relatable when Shepard explained how he thinks that most parents lie about how much time their kids spend in front of a screen during an interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live.
Strangely enough, the conversation began when the two started talking about the merits of rummaging through other people’s garbage. According to Shepard, “You can learn more about people by their trash than what they’re telling you.” The statements stemmed from his realization that most parents will say they feed their kids ‘healthy’ food while at the same time the lie they just told is flooding their garbage can in the form of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. After that Shepard just got into the screen-time lie he tells other parents.
“If you ask me how much screen-time my kids get, you’re gonna hear a phony baloney number I’ll tell you that,” Shepard said. “I have all these rules, and I do have these rules, I just break them all day long. I’m like, ‘cartoons only on the weekends’ —unless I’m tired— which is often.”
It’s cool to see a parent who is very tacitly acknowledging the shame that permeates raising kids. Too often parents feel like they have to save face at the expense of being upfront about what they’re feeling. Is too much screen-time bad, yeah it is. But, you know what’s also hard? Trying to sleep or literally get anything done in the company of small kids who won’t sit still.