New Advice Column: Hey Heylee

I hear you, Moms. You’re desperate for advice about parenting and looking for a kind, wise and reassuring ear to help you feel okay about your choices.

I’ve read your questions, and concerns on the social channels.  You want an expert to address your parenting woes?

Well, I found one. And she was way too busy so. . .

I found a backup “expert” that will frankly have to do.   Allow me to introduce advice guru Heylee.

First Time Mom Woes

Hey Heylee,

What are the absolute essentials to have as I prepare for my newborn baby, and won’t cost me an arm and a leg?

My first thought is to stop paying with an arm or leg.  You’re eventually going to run out!  Secondly, think about how little you can get by with.  In AP History class, I read that women have been birthing children for like thousands of years, which means that Diaper Genies weren’t used once during the Elizabethan Era.

Save your money for the future and for more important things like childcare, college and family vacations.  Really, all you need is diapers, milk, clothes, books and some simple toys.  Your baby doesn’t care if he/she has a crib with a video monitor, bottle warmer or air fryer attachment.  That sweet little nugget simply needs loads of love and comfort!  There are tons of resources in Cedar Rapids that are designed to help you out.  Also, check out the Young Parents Network, which offers an incentive program where you can exchange points for diapers, wipes, books, or baby products!

How to Teach Sharing

Hey Heylee,

My daughter, Sally, is usually very sweet, but when we’re on play dates she does NOT want to share. How can I make Sally share when she’s playing with other toddlers?

Easy. Don’t.  This is the same little human that screamed because you didn’t serve a double-layered chocolate cake for breakfast.  Little Sally needs you to help her recognize, name and work through the big feelings.  Imagine that Sally is playing with her seashells and someone wants to play with them.  What if you just allow Sally to play with it until she’s done?  Sharing is the kind and generous thing to teach children, but when it’s forced it gives them the wrong impression.  If you force Sally to share her seashells by the seashore, and she doesn’t feel like it, that will build resentment.  Sally learns to suppress her needs and emotions to satisfy someone else and what happens is sharing becomes annoying and doesn’t feel good.  What you can do is gently encourage her:

Mom:  I noticed that Sam likes playing with seashells, too.  Can he have a turn playing with them when you’re all done?

Sally:  Yes.

Mom:  That’s very kind!  Let’s give it to him when you’re done.

What books do I recommend about sharing?  Why I thought you’d never ask!  Fill your cart with Cheri J Meiners‘ books.   She takes hard-to-understand concepts like sharing, self-esteem, integrity, honesty, and inclusion and gives concrete examples children can understand.  They’re super relatable.

Need advice? Got more questions?  I’ve got relatively acceptable answers.  Send your parenting questions to:  [email protected] and I’ll do my best to help you out.

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Kelli is the mama to an adorable 3 year old Marcel. The duo love to spend their time together in nature climbing trees and boulders, reading books, playing French Cafe, dancing, and singing Top 40 hits such as The Wheels on the Bus and Happy Birthday. By day, Ms. Michel has worn multiple hats that range from former interior designer to AMI Montessori educator, to freelance voiceover artist and story seller. Kelli's moonlighting experiences includes performances in the Twin Cities either writing, acting, improvising or singing. She's supremely grateful for the opportunity to connect with others and in her spare time hopes to bring world peace.

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