Dealing with rejection is a part of life, but teaching your children how to handle it gracefully is another challenge. Just ask Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager.
During Wednesday's episode of TODAY with Hoda & Jenna, the co-hosts swapped stories about the ways they're teaching their kids to accept rejection without letting it hurt their feelings.
Jenna said it's a topic that she and husband Henry Hager have been considering a lot lately while talking about their three children, Mila (8), Poppy (6), and Hal (3).
"Everybody is rejected a million times a day via the internet and it’s in a way that we weren’t,” she said.
Jenna said people often ask her how she can be in the public eye when people can be so cruel on social media. And the mother of three had an insightful response.
"It’s 'cause of my parents. I watched as my parents took on stuff and would say to us ‘Baby, it didn't matter. We know we’re not like that. We know we’re not that person,'" she explained.
Jenna went on to recall a time when she and her twin sister Barbara Bush found an insulting, yet comedic bumper sticker about their father, former President George W. Bush.
“We were like, 'Dad, we saw the best bumper sticker. It said 'A village in Texas is missing its idiot!' and he laughed hysterically because he knows who he is," she said.
Hoda, who is mom to daughters Haley Joy (4) and Hope Catherine (2), said parents always seem to want to shield their children from rejection, but admitted that she's taken a different approach.
"Haley's come to me before when she actually asked a little girl to play and the little girl said no. She came up to me (and said), ‘Mom, she said she didn’t want to play with me.’ I said, 'OK, what about her? Maybe she wants to play,'" she recalled.
Hoda explained that Haley was taken aback by how her mom was so calm about the matter and went on to ask another girl to play with her.
"I don’t feel the 'ouch' of her rejection. 'Cause some parents are like, 'Ooh I remember.' It’s not about you; let your kid (just be). Because at the end, Haley was playing," she said.
"And also, in the end she's gonna know what rejection feels like and it's OK," Jenna added.