Why ‘Today Show’s’ Al Roker Says It’s Important to Apologize to Your Kids

Al Roker of the Today Show is a fan fave on the iconic morning news program. A steady presence at NBC for over 40 years, Roker wears many hats (sometimes literally!) serving as co-host, feature reporter, and weather man.

Married to Deborah Roberts of ABC News, Roker is a proud father of daughters Courtney (from a previous marriage) and Leila, and son Nicholas. Often sharing stories from his own family on marriage and parenting, Roker previously commented on the joys and challenges of raising kids.

Al Roker of the “Today Show” | Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Roker’s almost-empty nest

The NBC weather man noted that juggling his family and work life was more difficult when he was just starting out in his career.

“I think it’s a work in progress. I’m at an age now where it’s a little easier to do that than when I was younger and trying to build a career,” Roker said, according to Your Teen. “If I do have any regrets, I wasn’t home as much as I should have been or wanted to be. You can’t have it all, whether you’re a man or a woman. I don’t think it is possible—something’s got to give.”

Sharing that while his co-hosts Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, Carson Daly, and Craig Melvin are in the early stages of childrearing, Roker noted that he and Roberts are nearing the empty nest phase.

“They’re all always talking about how they’re constantly tired,” Roker said of his Today colleagues with little ones. “I’ve got a teenager, a Gen Z, and a Millennial, whereas they all have toddlers and little kids. Courtney is completely out of the house—although they’re never completely out of the house. Leila’s… in college, and Nick’s… in high school, so he doesn’t need the attention that their kids do.”

The ‘Today’ star places importance on connection

The NBC journalist has taken individual trips with each of his kids to build special memories and strengthen his bond with both daughters and his son.

“You just kind of discover things about each other,” Roker said of the journeys he takes with each of his children. “When you take each other out of your comfort zone and have one-on-one time, you get a chance to see different things.”

Roker often credits his own father for imparting some invaluable parenting wisdom throughout his life, revealing how his dad found ways to relate to him despite their opposite interests.

“One of the best lessons I learned from my dad was that each child is an individual. I was not very athletic. I was not particularly outgoing,” Roker shared. “I really loved cartoons and animation. That’s how he connected with me. My dad was very athletic, but he didn’t force me to be an athlete because that’s not who I was. He connected with me on what excited me. That’s how I learned to connect with my kids.”

The importance of ‘I’m sorry’

As a seasoned parent, Roker has had his ups and downs with parenting over the years and discovered that his kids aren’t looking for him to be perfect.

“I think everything’s a struggle. If it’s something you care about, you work at it,” he explained. “You don’t always succeed, but you try your best. I think your kids know that. Your kids don’t expect perfection. They just expect you to try.” 

Again, Roker recalled something his dad taught him about the importance of apologizing when you’re a parent.

“Learning to say you’re sorry goes a long way. I remember my dad apologizing once,” the Today star said. “He thought I had done poorly in class and, in fact, the teacher had made a mistake, and he apologized. I never forgot that. I have to remember to apologize. Just because I’m the dad doesn’t mean I’m right.”

For those times he forgets to make amends, Roker has someone to jog his memory. “I have to be reminded of that,” he admitted. “My wife, Deborah, reminds me of that constantly.”