Hoda Kotb Explains Why She Isn’t Allowing Her 6-Year-Old Daughter to Wear a Crop Top

Hoda Kotb is opening up about a recent parenting moment that left her with conflicting feelings. She was walking down the street when her 6-year-old daughter, Haley Joy, lifted her shirt up halfway – as if she were wearing a crop top. She asked Haley what she was doing, but she just giggled uncontrollably. 

“So Haley wants to wear a midriff. She asked me about a midriff,” Kotb said to her co-host, Jenna Bush Hager, during an episode of Today with Hoda & Jenna on Monday (June 12). A midriff, also known as a crop top or half-shirt, is a shirt that exposes the waist, navel, or abdomen – covering only the top half. 

Jenna was quick to note that it’s a popular style among teenage girls, but Hoda was shocked to learn that her daughter – who turned six years old in February – knew of the style because she didn’t think Haley knew any teenagers who wore it. Either way, she found herself conflicted over how to respond and react.

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“It’s weird! You want your kids to feel good in your own skin, but isn’t that a weird thing!” Hoda Kotb said – adding that she ultimately said ‘no, we’re not doing that.’ She went on to explain how she often wrestles with herself over making her child feel ‘in charge or in control’ vs. putting her foot down and saying no. 

“We always do the, ‘Do you want blueberries or raspberries? Do you want to wear pink or red, you pick! See, you can choose!’” she said. “Then I wonder, what are we doing? Even though that’s what parenting is now, sometimes you wonder if you have one choice – sometimes it has gotta be no, don’t you think?”

Hoda Kotb, who turns 59 years old on August 9, is a mother to two daughters – Haley Joy, 6 (adopted in February 2017), and Hope Catherine, 4 (adopted in April 2019). She co-parents both of her daughters with Joel Schiffman, who Kotb was engaged to for roughly two years between Nov. 2019 and Jan. 2022. 

Kotb has been open about her journey into motherhood, which she acknowledges came a little later than most. “As an older mom, I think there are a lot of beautiful parts and challenges too,” she said in 2022, adding that she’s ‘not embarrassed to be my age. I’m happy at my age. It’s the perfect storm of my life.” 

Hoda Kotb Talks Adoption and Putting Her Daughters to Bed

Hoda Kotb isn’t shy about sharing her experience as a mother and uses her platform to relate to others and let them know they’re not alone. In a recent appearance on the Just B with Bethenny Frankel podcast, Kotb talked about the moment she learned that she was going to be a mother for the first time. 

“I filled out all the paperwork and did all the stuff that you do, and they’re like, ‘Okay, maybe a year, maybe six months, maybe five years, bye,'” she said of the adoption process. She remembered getting a call from a lady from the adoption agency and she knew what it was right away – she was going to be a mom.

“I saw her name, I hung up the phone, I took a yellow pad out, and I wrote, ’11:55. This is the moment everything changes,’ I knew it,” she said of the moment she received that phone call. “And I took a deep breath and dialed the number, and I said, ‘Ashley?’ and she said two words to me. She said, ‘She’s here.'”

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On Tuesday’s episode of Today with Hoda & Jenna, Hoda Kotb revealed her bedtime routine for her two daughters. She cited four things she makes sure to tell Haley Joy and Hope Catherine before going to bed every night: “I love you. I’m proud of you. I think you’re terrific, and I’m glad your mine.”

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