Savannah Guthrie and her husband, Mike Feldman, don’t play “good cop” and “bad cop” with their two young children.
“I’ve never subscribed to that old-fashioned notion of ‘Wait until your father gets home,’” Savannah tells TODAY.com.
“You’re not parenting if your kid hasn’t called you mean — that’s how you know you’re doing it right,” she continues. “I don’t like hearing it, but you have to have boundaries, you have to have those limits, and your kids won’t like them. So sometimes you have to let them think that you’re mean.”
The TODAY co-anchor says her 8-year-old daughter, Vale, and 6-year-old son, Charley, make their beds every morning.
“I always tell them, ‘I’m not judging on perfection, I’m judging on effort,’” Savannah says.
Vale, who is in third grade, and Charley, a kindergartner, are also expected to scrape their dinner plates clean, and carry them to the sink. Before they get up from the table, they ask to be excused.
“I can’t say that I’m succeeding on any given day, but my hope is to raise kind, loving and appreciative children," Savannah says.
Hoda Kotb thinks her TODAY co-anchor is nailing it. In a 2022 interview with TODAY.com, Hoda recalled watching Savannah explain mental illness to Vale.
“She said to her daughter, ‘Some people get injuries that you can see. They break their arm or stub their toe, and some people have injuries that you can’t see, they’re on the inside,’” Hoda told TODAY.com. “I was like, ‘Oh my God, that is so brilliant. I was trying to write it in the note section on my phone.”
Savannah couldn’t be more proud of the people that Vale and Charley are becoming. She says she is loving this stage of parenting life, where she no longer has to worry about a toddler running into the street or placing their hand on a hot stove.
“I feel so happy and blessed,” Savannah says. “They’re great kids. And it’s my job to just help them uncover that and not get in the way.”