Raise your hand if you’ve ever been annoyed by a kids’ show. Or if you’ve ever gotten the show’s theme song stuck in your head. Or if you can quote all the lines to Toy Story 2 in your sleep. (All parents should have their hands up at this point.) Look, I’m not one to complain about a little screen time with kids, but every parent has a limit on how much Peppa Pig they can stand. Kristen Bell, aka, the voice of Anna from Frozen — a movie with amazing songs that still get annoying when played on repeat — just opened up about embracing this “magic” time with your little ones. And she did while dressed up as a character from her daughters’ favorite show.
“Hi, I’m Kristen Bell and I am here to spread the good news about Paw Patrol to fellow parents,” the actress and mom of Lincoln, 9, and Delta, 7, with husband Dax Shepard, said in an ad on the Paw Patrol Instagram account.
Bell then jokes about being a “paw-rent” and tells a friend named Susan, “Clear your afternoon and also the next five years because the Paw Patrol years are here!”
“It’s going to be some of the most joyful times you’ll ever experience with your kids,” she continued.
Then she opens up all these Paw Patrol toys all over Susan’s house — which all parents of elementary school kids and younger can definitely relate to. At one point, Susan starts to pick up a toy that her kids (Anna and Caleb) threw on the floor, and Bell tells her, “Oh, don’t worry about that. You can clean it up later after I leave. Or, not. Really. Because there’s just gonna be a new mess tomorrow.” So true!
At the end, Bell dresses up in a Chase from Paw Patrol outfit with the kids. The mom dresses up like Marshall and sits by her daughter, who tells her, “Marshall’s my favorite!” Just when your kids start to annoy you with their toys, mess, and TV preferences, they say something so adorable and cute.
The Good Place actress wanted to be a part of this ad because she believes in the importance of embracing your kids’ favorite shows.
“Initially when my kids fell in love with Paw Patrol I wanted to be annoyed because I saw that it was everywhere — much like I’m sure most parents feel about Frozen, where it’s just everywhere, saturating your kids — but I hit this point where I actually started to love it and started to enjoy it with my kids,” Bell told PEOPLE yesterday.
“There’s this beautiful idea about parenting where you get to see the world through your kid’s eyes again and I realize that the benefit of something like Paw Patrol is that it has a magic about it that makes kids fall in love with it, and every single kid I know did it with Paw Patrol,” she continued.
Bell also explained that educational and entertaining kids shows are like a second parent.
“They’re simple enough for them to understand but they teach kindness and inclusivity and it was basically like having a co-parent in the house,” the actress told PEOPLE. “The way they write Paw Patrol is so brilliant because there’s something for everyone, each character is a little archetype of an interest of a kid so when you put them together. Every kid can identify with one and you create this well-rounded group that teaches bravery and teamwork.”
“Now that I look back, because my oldest is graduating out of the Paw Patrol years, it was such a sweet time,” Bell added. “So we made these cute videos to let other parents know, give into it, sit down on the couch, watch it with them because all of these cliches you say about parenting that it’s brief, and it’s fleeting and you’ll miss it when it’s gone are true.”
She also joked about keeping a clean home: “It doesn’t feel like you’re cleaning up a mess every five seconds, you ARE cleaning up a mess every five seconds,” Bell said. “My parenting framework, the lens that I view parenting through, is don’t fight it so much. There is going to be a mess tomorrow.”
When you do want to tidy up, use Paw Patrol (or whatever your kids’ favorite show is) to your advantage. “At some point, the house will get dirty enough that you can say, ‘Okay guys, I need my team. We got to call Adventure Bay. We got to do it together,'” Bell told PEOPLE. “And then it becomes a little bit more of a teaching situation. I let myself off the hook and I hope to give that feeling to other parents. It’s a really hard job.”
Last month, Bell and Shepard answered several marriage and parenting questions on Instagram, including “What’s one thing about parenting that surprised you?” to which Bell answered, “It’s fun.”
It definitely seems like Bell and Shepard are embracing the little years and finding the joy in parenting (even though it can be super challenging, too). One day you’ll put Frozen on just to remind you what life was like when your kids were younger. In the meantime, take Bell’s advice and just enjoy it!