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Jenna Bush Hager | Mila Hager | Source: Getty Images
Jenna Bush Hager | Mila Hager | Source: Getty Images

Jenna Bush Hager Sparks Debate After Saying She Wouldn’t Buy 10-Year-Old Daughter a Cell Phone for ‘A Long Time'

Dorcus Osongo
Sep 14, 2023
12:00 P.M.
  • Jenna Bush Hager has strict electronic rules for her three kids.
  • Jenna said her oldest daughter, Mila, will have no cell phone for a long time.
  • The "Today" host has over the years spoken about how she is raising her three kids.
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Jenna Bush Hager is married to Henry Chaser Hager, and the two have three kids: Mila, 8, Poppy, 8, and Hal, 4. The journalist is a dedicated parent who monitors her children's electronic time to prevent them from being overwhelmed by them.

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Jenna revealed on "Today with Hoda & Jenna" that she has set strict rules on screen time in her household that the kids must follow. She brought up the conversation on screen time when discussing parents having boundaries with their kids with her co-host, Hoda Kotb.

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The journalist said her kids don't have electronics of their own and that they aren't allowed to use devices during the week. Jenna's kids sometimes watch television shows, but their screen time is restricted. The journalist admitted her daughter, Mila, doesn't get her rules.

One day, Mila told her she was kind of sad except during the weekends. Mila is at an age where she has started texting her friends, but the texts also go through her mom's phone. Since Mila doesn't have access to electronics during the weekdays, her mom assumed she was only happy during weekends due to her access to devices.

Jenna Bush Hager and Mila Hager on "Today" on December 20, 2022 | Source: Getty Images

Jenna Bush Hager and Mila Hager on "Today" on December 20, 2022 | Source: Getty Images

However, it turned out Mila was only sad because she had a stomach bug. Jenna's daughter admitted that electronics weren't that fun because sometimes she feels sad, even on the days she has access to devices.

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The former first daughter said it was important for her kids to have boundaries and structure. The boundaries and structure help her kids not feel overwhelmed by electronics and have a life outside their devices.

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Jenna said she wants Mila to pursue other interests besides scrolling through a screen a whole day. She added that she wouldn't be giving Mila a cellphone for "a long time" because she wants her to be present in this world, not the online one.

Jenna is also raising her kids to be readers. She said the best part of her day is when she reads books with her kids.

The "Today" host's rules on technology also apply to her to some extent. Jenna has a room in her house where electronics are not allowed. She usually takes a book and leaves her phone outside the room to have an uninterrupted reading time.

Mila Hager, Jenna Bush Hager, and Barbara Pierce Bush in New York City on November 13, 2017 | Source: Getty Images

Mila Hager, Jenna Bush Hager, and Barbara Pierce Bush in New York City on November 13, 2017 | Source: Getty Images

Fans shared their opinion on Jenna not giving Mila a cell phone for a long time. A fan agreed with Jenna and said even when kids have a cellphone, safety should always be prioritized. Fans added that kids who have less screen time are better off than those with their devices at hand all the time.

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A fan said Jenna had done an awesome job, as their 13-year-old twins also don't have phones. Other people commended Jenna for making good choices and tough decisions, especially since Mila's friends probably have cell phones. One online user said some parents are in positions that force them to give their kids cellphones at an early age.

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Jenna Bush Hager, Poppy Hager, and Mila Hager on "Today" August 27, 2018 | Source: Getty Images

Jenna Bush Hager, Poppy Hager, and Mila Hager on "Today" August 27, 2018 | Source: Getty Images

Jenna's main priority is being a parent to her three kids. She said expanding her family has brought her more joy than ever, and now she spends her time ensuring each child feels the intense love she has for them.

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How Does Jenna Parent Her Kids?

Jenna raises her kids to be kind. The journalist said her kids are smart and great, but she doesn't really care whether they are in position one in school or if they go to good schools as long as they are kind to other people.

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The mom of three also wants her kids to learn from their mistakes and always put themselves out there with no fear of failing. She noted that Mila has already understood that one can and should learn from their mistakes and failures.

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Jenna is also raising her kids to be readers. She said the best part of her day is when she reads books with her kids. The journalist reads with her kids every night to integrate reading into their lives. She shared tips on how she instills the reading culture in her kids, including finding them books that are impossible to put down.

The 41-year-old is doing a great job in raising her kids. Jenna said she wants her kids to be wild, independent, and not need her all the time. The journalist is raising free-spirited kids who understand rules, boundaries, and structure.

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