Hoda Kotb Reveals the ‘Game-Changer’ Parenting Advice That Helped Her Calm Daughter Haley’s ‘Meltdowns’

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Kotb is mom to daughters Haley, 6, and Hope, 4

<p>Hoda Kotb/Instagram</p> Hoda Kotb and her daughters

Hoda Kotb/Instagram

Hoda Kotb and her daughters

Hoda Kotb is revealing one of her parenting secrets.

While chatting with co-host Jenna Bush Hager on Tuesday's episode of Today with Hoda & Jenna, the TV personality, 59, dropped a piece of advice she received that helped quell her 6-year-old daughter Haley's meltdowns.

"I am learning so much about raising my kids," Kotb says. "I’m learning because what I realized is, there are resources available if we need to help raise our child. I think sometimes we think, ‘My child’s this way…’ — ‘cause sometimes at our house, Haley will have a meltdown about something and I didn’t know how to deal with it."

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Related: Hoda Kotb Brings Daughter Hope, 4, Onstage at 60th Celebration for Her High School — See the Cute Moment!

"And someone was helping me, they said, ‘This is what you should do.’ In case anyone has a child with meltdowns, what do you do? So If your child says, ‘I’m scared, I’m scared! Something’s under the bed!’ Don’t go, ‘Look honey, there’s nothing, why are you scared, there’s nothing to be scared of.’"

"Or, ‘My friends don’t like me!’ ‘They like you!’ — Don’t do that! The very first thing you should do, they say, grownups and kids, is validate your child’s feelings. ‘That must be scary.’ And then all of a sudden, the shoulders drop and then you can have a conversation," Kotb says.

"And then he said something to me that was a game-changer for me. ‘Cause sometimes the meltdown’s happening and it’s bedtime, so you want to go, ‘But honey, you gotta got to bed.’ But honey, you gotta go to sleep.’ He said, ‘Take the word but out of your sentence and put in the word and.’ So in other words, ‘Honey, I see what you’re saying. And honey, your body needs to rest. AND honey, your body needs to rest!’"

"And you find this is working?" Bush Hager asks her friend and co-host.

"It’s working," Kotb says, pointing to their producers. "Look, if I said, ‘Dave, you’re doing a great job but you really have to dut dut duh,’ you’d be like, [mimics being stressed].’ vs. ‘Dave, you’re doing a great job and can you please queue me?’ See? The 'and' makes it nice even though it’s the same as a 'but.'"

"Not even for kids, you can do it for adults. ‘I want to help you AND I’m busy right now,'" Bush Hager says.

"Yes! ‘I’m busy right now AND I want to help you next time.’ By the way, anyone who’s got any child-rearing tips, I love them. Don’t hoard your secrets! If you know something, tell us," Kotb tells the audience.

Kotb is mom to daughters Haley and Hope, 4.

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