Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager posed a great question: can you discipline the children of relatives who are your guests during the holiday season?
During the “Social Dilemmas” segment of the Monday, Nov. 20, episode of Today With Hoda and Jenna, the co-hosts didn’t shy away from discussing the so-called “sticky situation” in which family members with different parenting styles come together for the holidays, only to be met with a bit of frustration when it comes to reprimanding kids for acting up.
The prompt read, “My sister’s family is staying with us over Thanksgiving…we have very different parenting styles. Her kids have no boundaries or limits. Can I discipline her kids if I don’t like their behavior?”
“Yes,” Kotb, a mom of two, immediately chimed in. “It’s your sister’s kids.”
Hager was hesitant to agree, stipulating that “It depends how much you discipline them, though.”
“I once had an uncle that spanked me and my mom got so mad,” the mother of three added.
“Well, that’s not discipline,” Kotb interjected. “I’m talking about, ‘get off the couch.'”
The two eventually seemed to come to terms with an agreement, explaining that it depends on the situation at hand and how you go about disciplining the child.
“I think you can’t go too far when it’s other people’s kids,” Hager, 41, noted.
Kotb, 59, then set up a situation to better portray her perspective, in which Hager’s niece was outside in the mud and playing with deer before she entered the house and climbed on the couch or a table. Leading by example, Kotb leaned over to Hager, and while gently patting the table in front of them, she said, “Get off the couch, honey, we don’t do that here.”
While Hager said she would be “so scared if my aunt said that,” her co-host underscored that that’s the point.
“That’s right!” Kotb replied in cheers.
What do you think? Is it okay to discipline other people’s children during the holidays? Or is that responsibility reserved only for parents?
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