Jenna Bush Hager Reveals How Dad George W. Bush's Parenting Style Influenced Her Own

Jenna Bush Hager is opening up about the parenting style that she and husband Henry Hager employ in raising their three children. The former First Daughter, Bush Hager explains the couple splits their parenting duties 50/50, and she thanks her father, President George W. Bush, in large part for that.

"In a time when probably a lot of dads weren't showing up, my dad showed up, and he helped because there was no choice," she told PEOPLE. "There were two of us at the same time, and they were equal parents."

She said that her dad was always sure to make time for her and twin sister Barbara. "My dad was home before 5 p.m., he would go for a jog and I'd ride my bike next to him. Our parents made the time for us," Bush Hager said.

As a result, her and Henry both do everything pertaining to the kids. "Daddy and Mommy both do diapers. Daddy and Mommy both do bedtime. We both do baths. We both do dinner," she said.

"When my parents got home from work, there was nothing else; we didn't have the internet," Bush Hager added while talking about her childhood being very normal. "So that worries me, just about all of our kids — that hopefully they know that they're our priority and that we're not looking down at our computers or our telephones and making them feel like they're insignificant. It's a big deal."

Despite seeming to have a good handle on parenting, Bush Hager says things can still get pretty crazy around their house. "If I'm alone with all three kids, which I have been because my husband travels for work, it's tricky," she said. "I'll put the baby to bed first and then I'll read with [the girls]. Our life is slightly chaotic and adjusting to three kids has been a little crazy. Whenever anybody walks in, we go, 'Welcome to the nut house.' Who says that? I do."

The Hagers' third son, Henry "Hal" Harold, was born on Aug. 2. "He is named Henry after many on his father's side including his dear dad and his paternal grandfather," she told PEOPLE after his birth. "Harold comes from my maternal grandfather, Pa, who I loved dearly and was unable to keep a son long enough to name."


Bush Hager subsequently took maternity leave from The TODAY Show, but she made her return to the program on Nov. 11.