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HIMYM’s Alyson Hannigan on parenting tips to Lily and sharing smiles

Kim Grundy is a mom, writer, expert laundry folder and sandwich maker, not necessarily in that order. Raised in Oklahoma, she is now a West Coast gal and lives in California with her husband and two sons, along with one dog, two fish (oo...

Interview with HIMYM star

How I Met Your Mother star Alyson Hannigan sat down to chat with us about her two daughters, Satyana and Keeva, and we even got her to reveal what parenting tips she would give to her character, Lily.
Celebrity mom Alyson Hannigan
Alyson Hannigan

This mom and do-gooder also shared how you can help the Children’s Health Fund by “Smiling It Forward” and sharing your own photos that make you smile.

As the hit show How I Met Your Mother gets ready for its eighth and final season, Alyson Hannigan finds her art imitating life somewhat as her character, Lily, has a son with her on-screen husband Marshall (Jason Segel) while the 39-year-old actress has two daughters — 4-year-old Satyana (whom she often calls Sati) and 1-year old Keeva — with her husband Alexis Denisof.

Their parenting styles, however, couldn’t be more different! Who does Hannigan think is the better mom — Lily or herself?

Who is the better mom? Alyson or Lily?

Alyson Hannigan and her daughter

“I certainly hope Alyson Hannigan — oh that is weird talking about myself in the third person,” Hannigan tells SheKnows, laughing. “But I hope I am because Lilly makes a lot of very strange choices, but they are funny. But I would hope I am.”

Is there anything that Hannigan can learn from her quirky on-screen character? “What can I learn from her? She certainly knows how to find a good discount," Hannigan says. "She has great clothes for a teacher’s salary. If they are legal... which the jury is out on that."

"She could probably learn to be a little more legal from me," she says, laughing.

In fact, her character Lily doesn't mind bending the truth every now and then, but Hannigan says they keep it honest in her household — even when it comes to "little white lies" parents often tell their kids! "I try to avoid lying to my kids because I feel like kids are smart — so you know I will emphasize other truths,” she said. “I’m a terrible liar. I’m not good at it! I can't even think of any time I have lied to them.”

Alyson happy to be "Smiling It Forward!"

Luckily, Hannigan isn’t teaching them to lie, but she is teaching them to be thankful. Alyson Hannigan and family

“I think the best way to teach your kids is by setting a good example yourself. I am very appreciative and grateful and they see that in me — and I think manners are so important,” she says. “My girls, well Sati [as] Keeva is talking but hasn’t gotten to 'thank you' just yet. Sati is great with 'thank you' and 'please' — unless she is cranky and then she is a little... well, you know, she is 4 but she is still a really good kid!”

Another way the American Pie star is teaching her kids to be thankful is through giving back with Tylenol’s “Smiling It Forward” campaign to help the Children’s Health Fund. You simply share a photo that makes you smile and Tylenol will donate $1 to the Children’s Health Fund, who then uses the money for their mobile medical clinics that provide healthcare to those children in need.

“Because that 'feel better' smile means so much to moms and Tylenol, I’m smiling it forward to help spread the smile of good health to children who don’t have access to healthcare,” Hannigan says. “Like a lot of moms, I love sharing photos of my girls’ beautiful smiles. So why not use these adorable pictures for a good cause? I was honored to trigger the very first donation to Children's Health Fund by sharing a photo of my girls.”

You can find out more about how you can practice Smiling It Forward here and check out our video interview with Hannigan as she reveals her favorite holiday traditions with her family!

Image credit: WENN

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