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Hoda Kotb Offers Comforting Advice to Parents of Bullied Children

Hoda Kotb

Like many people, Today Show host Hoda Kotb faced the cruelty of bullies during her formative years. While those moments created core memories she wouldn’t wish on anyone, she wants parents to understand that bullying did not define her, and if their children are dealing with similar issues, they will likely get through it, too.

The mother of two shared her experiences while chatting with Jenna Bush Hager on March 19th. She said that during her pre-teen years, she had self-esteem issues that mean-spirited classmates took advantage of.

“There was not a time when I was more insecure than 7th grade, 8th grade,” she said. “Those years were the pits.” 

“I remember sitting in front of the bus and listening to people make fun of me and just willing the bus to get to school,” she continued. “And I remember the feeling was like, ‘Just end this bus ride, get me to school.'”

Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager

There was one bully in particular who continuously threatened to beat her up, and Hoda Kotb was terrified of her.

“I didn’t even know her. I was like, ‘Why do you want to beat me up?’ and I had no idea why,” she shared. “But I know I never mentioned it. I didn’t mention it…I was scared of her.”

Hoda Kotb Says “Don’t Worry” if Your Kid Is Facing a “Really Tough” Year

Hoda said she thinks kids back then were less “expressive” about being bullied than they are now. It was sadly a rite of passage that school authorities and parents typically ignored. So kids like her just stayed silent and go through their days.

“I just think I was more of a ‘Let’s push through’ thing,” she added.

Jenna shared that she, too, had horrible experiences at that age, and she doubted that anyone could make it through middle school without dealing with some form of bullying.

“It’s like everybody feels bad. So it’s just a cesspool of insecurity, and so therefore there’s rage and bullying and all sorts of terrible things,” she said.

Jenna Hager Bush and Hoda Kotb on the Today Show

Fortunately, parents and principals take a more hands-on approach to dealing with school bullying, which gives kids more confidence to tell someone when things get too difficult to handle alone. But no matter what the situation, Hoda Kotb wants parents to understand that bullying will not stunt their future as long as they have help.

“Just so you know, if you have kids who are going through a really tough middle school year, don’t worry,” she said.

And Jenna supported the advice by using her Emmy-winning co-host as an example.

“Look at her now, y’all!” she said.

You can find the source of this story’s featured image here.

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