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Celeb Parents Get Real

Jenna Bush Hager’s Kids Are ‘Strong, Opinionated Girls’ Who Remind Her of Her Younger Self: ‘I Think It’s Karma’

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Jenna Bush Hager‘s daughters may still be young, but they already know what they want.

The Today show correspondent and former first daughter dished to PEOPLE’s Celeb Parents Get Real about how her girls — Poppy Louise, 22 months, and Margaret Laura “Mila,” 4 — have already developed “headstrong” personalities.

“Yesterday, Mila said, ‘It’s my room, my rules,’ and I flashed back to when I was 16 and tried to say things like that to my parents as a rambunctious teenager,” recalls Bush Hager, 35. “And I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, what do I have in store for me?’ ”

“And I think it’s karma,” the mom of two admits. “[Twin sister Barbara Bush] and I were not the best, but I like that they’re strong, opinionated girls. I wouldn’t want it any other way.”

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Two tiny gardeners saying goodbye to beautiful Maine!

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RELATED VIDEO: Jenna Bush Hager: “My Daughter Calls Me ‘Ma’am’ (It’s a Southern Thing!)”

 

While her daughters with husband of nine years Henry Hager may be headstrong, they’re not mean. In fact, Bush Hager shares that her biggest hope for them is that they retain their considerate nature as they grow up.

“My greatest wish for my kids is to keep the kindness that they have now,” she says. “And I want them to have that same kindness after the world has [its] way with them.”

Continues the author and teacher of allowing her kids “to make mistakes” just as her parents Laura and George W. Bush did for her and Barbara, “I don’t know if I’d be the same human I am today had I not been allowed to be my own person.”

My Easter 🐣🐣

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RELATED: Bush Sisters Promise Yet-Untold Personal Stories in Upcoming Wild and Wonderful Memoir

Bush Hager confesses that her husband is the one in their household who handles upheaval a little better than she does — but she does have one technique that makes it easier.

“I can get worked up about things that aren’t important, but what I really try to do is put on music and dance,” she explains. “I think if music is playing and you’re dancing around, some of the chaos can fall away.”

FROM PEN: Laura Bush Was Surprised Her Husband Turned to Painting in Retirement

 

RELATED: Jenna Bush Hager Writes Empowering Letter to Her Daughters About Beauty: “You Are More Than Enough”

The fact that her girls keep her laughing helps, too. “This morning, I was wearing a sports bra and a workout shirt and Mila said, ‘Mommy, is that a bathing suit?’ And I said, ‘No, it’s a sports bra.’ ”

“And she goes, ‘Daddy has medium boobs, I have small boobs and your boobs are big,’ ” Bush Hager shares. “And I was like, ‘Yes, thank you. And I will tell Daddy that he has medium boobs and I think he’ll love that. A man boob.”