On TODAY with Hoda & Jenna, Jenna shares a story with Hoda Kotb about Mila's quest for a Greenlight card, a debit card for young people that can be monitored by their parents. Together with its app, the Greenlight card can track allowance, assign chores, set savings goals, donate to charity and more.
"We had said no. And we had said no. And we had said no," says Jenna of her response to her oldest child's repeated requests for the card. "And then she did a PowerPoint presentation."
Mila's presentation included "why she was responsible enough now, and what chores she would do, and how she wanted to learn how to save and how she wants to buy presents for her siblings at Christmas on her own," explained Jenna, who also shares 8-year-old Poppy and 4-year-old Hal with husband Henry Hager.
"And at the end," Jenna continues, "Henry, who's a pretty conservative spender, said, 'Okay, Mila. You've earned it.'"
"That's such a great life lesson," Hoda says.
"She did it on her own," says Jenna, who has mentioned Mila's love of building slide presentations.
"Probably because you said no," Hoda says. "Imagine if you'd said, 'Well, okay, we'll see how you do with it.' But instead you said no, no, no."
Jenna says that her generation heard "no" a lot in childhood. On the other hand, "this generation is just like, 'Okay, have a phone. All right. Get on social media.' Saying no is actually really important."
Earlier this summer, Jenna and Hoda had an on-air conversation about giving kids the space to solve their own problems. Both mothers had been given advice to listen to their kids more and talk less.
Hoda described a study in which two people were put in a room: one has a dilemma that needs to be solved, and the other person was directed to encourage the other to tease out the solution to the dilemma by only using a few limited phrases.
“At the end they always resolved the problem. Why? Because the person was given space to talk about their thing without someone going, ‘Why don’t you ...’ because sometimes if given the right (space), you can sort it out, you can totally solve it.” Hoda said.
In this case, Jenna and Henry's "no" encouraged Mila to find a creative solution to get what she wanted. And her thoughtful, well-worded PowerPoint presentation did the trick!