Although she is a woman who believes in rules and boundaries, Michelle Obama is not one to take away her kids’ independence. The First Lady recently spoke with Parade about her parenting style, which she describes as being more lenient when it comes to her daughters making decisions for themselves.
“I give them as long a leash as they can handle,” said the First Lady. “What I tell my kids is, I’m preparing you for college and for life. So, having independence, knowing how to set your own boundaries, figuring out how to make that balance. We still have screen time rules [though],” affirmed Mrs. Obama. See more interview highlights below:
On thinking about where Malia will go to college.
You know, I am really trying to tone that way down. Because kids are under unreasonable pressure, and it can destroy a high school experience.
On the rules she has set for the Obama daughters as they grow older.
I give them as long a leash as they can handle. What I tell my kids is, I’m preparing you for college and for life. So, having independence, knowing how to set your own boundaries, figuring out how to make that balance. We still have screen time rules.
On whether her recent description of herself as “a single mother” was an acknowledgement of the pressure that comes with always making the decisions about her kids.
That’s absolutely right. When you have a husband or a partner who’s either traveling for work or has huge responsibility … and I give my husband credit—he knows who their friends are, he knows what their schedule is. But he’s not making the calls to the dance studio to figure out what classes they’re taking next year … I think it’s important for both parents to shoulder that [responsibility]. I tell my kids, “I am thinking about you every other minute of my day.”
On whether she thinks having an African-American family in the White House has moved the needle.
Absolutely. Children born in the last eight years will only know an African-American man being president of the United States. That changes the bar for all of our children, regardless of their race, their sexual orientation, their gender. It expands the scope of opportunity in their minds. And that’s where change happens.
On why she chose a leadership role on the issue of childhood obesity in America.
When we started, there were people who were thinking, ‘Oh, that’s not an issue. Why is she picking that?’ But in a short amount of time we have turned a challenging problem into one where there are glimmers of hope and change. Our goal is to see the numbers reduced in a generation.
The President and First Lady have two children-Sasha and Malia-together.