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Jenna Bush Hager says she doesn’t care if her kids are smart, but wants them to be kind

 August 31, 2023

Jenna Bush Hager, daughter of former President George W. Bush, has expressed the fact that she prioritizes instilling kindness in her children over their academic achievements.

Hager, a 41-year-old television presenter and mother of three, recently discussed her approach to parenting on an episode of Today with Hoda and Jenna. She shared that her primary goal as a parent is to nurture kindness in her children, rather than focusing on their intellectual achievements or the schools they attend.

Despite the fact that both she and her husband, Henry Chase Hager, attended prestigious institutions, she underscored that the most crucial trait she wishes to instill in her children is kindness, as the Daily Mail reported.

Hager's parenting approach

Hager, who shares daughters Mila, 10; Poppy, eight; and son Hal, four, with her husband, provided a candid glimpse into her parenting approach.

She stated that her main objective is to ensure her children develop kindness.

The former first daughter expressed that while she appreciates their intelligence, she does not prioritize their academic ranking or the quality of the schools they attend.

Instead, she simply wants them to grow into kind individuals.

Support from Co-host

Her co-host, Hoda Kotb, concurred with her perspective, affirming that kindness is indeed essential.

Hager also noted that "coolness" naturally follows kindness.

The television personality and her twin sister, Barbara, attended Preston Hollow Elementary School and The Hockaday School, a private girls' college-preparatory school in Dallas, during their early years.

After their father was elected governor of Texas in 1994, the family relocated to Austin, where she enrolled at St. Andrew's Episcopal School.

Educational journey

Bush Hager pursued her undergraduate studies at the University of Texas, majoring in English, and also took summer classes at New York University.

She completed her degree at the University of Texas in 2004.

The mom of three had previously mentioned that her children would not be invited back on the Today show after her daughter, Mila, disclosed on live television that she had once wet her pants.

Following an Ed Sheeran concert at the Today Plaza in Rockefeller Center, which she attended with her daughters, Hager humorously remarked that they would not be allowed near microphones again due to their tendency to reveal secrets.

During the incident, Mila playfully shared that her mother had once wet her pants while laughing in their living room.

Despite the embarrassment caused by her daughter's revelation, Hager later enjoyed a touching reunion with Mila after she returned from a three-week sleepaway camp.

Touching reunion

Mila attended Camp Longhorn in the Texas Hill Country, the same camp that Hager had attended as a child.

The reunion was filled with joy, as Mila enthusiastically embraced her mother.

Hager humorously noted on Today that sending children to camp is worthwhile just for the joyous reunion that follows.

She also mentioned that Mila was likely one of the few children from the Northeast at the camp, which is predominantly attended by Texans.

Despite the hot weather and lack of air conditioning, Mila thoroughly enjoyed her time at the camp, much to her mother's delight.


  • Jenna Bush Hager says she places a higher value on nurturing kindness in her children than on their academic achievements.
  • She does not prioritize their academic standing or the schools they attend but desires for them to be kind individuals.
  • Despite a humorous incident on live television, she experienced a touching reunion with her daughter after her return from sleepaway camp.