Michelle Obama's Parenting Rules

Do the first lady's tips apply outside the White House?

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In a recent interview, BlackEnterprise.com pulled a few nuggets of wisdom about parenting from first lady Michelle Obama. While families outside the White House probably can't relate too strongly to concerns like making sure the staff doesn't treat their daughters "like little princesses" and designing dinnertime so that it's not all about Dad's role as the leader of the free world, other aspects of Michelle's perspective can be applied in any family. For example: It's more productive to discuss pop culture with your kids than to hide them from it, and it's good for daughters to see Mom at her best.

A couple of the tips, from Black Enterprise:

REALITY OVER REALITY TV 

While television plays a big role in a lot of American households, the Obamas try to keep boob tube consumption to a minimum. In fact, during the week the First Daughters are not allowed to watch TV or be in the computer unless it’s related to school, with limited time allotted for weekend viewing. "Barack really thinks some of the Kardashians—when they watch that stuff —he doesn't like that as much, but I sort of feel like if we're talking about it, and I'm more concerned with how they take it in," said Mrs. Obama. “What did you learn when you watched that? And if they're learning the right lessons, like, that was crazy, then I'm like, okay."

LEAD BY EXAMPLE

Michelle Obama's biggest parenting tip is the most simple: she leads by example. "I want my girls to see the model of a mother taking care of herself, because, quite frankly, my mother didn't do that," she confessed. "My mother was the traditional stay-at-home mom who never went to the hairdresser ... and the thought of spending a dime on herself was just like, 'Oh, my goodness, why would I want to do that?' " In contrast, the First Lady lets her daughters see her at her best so they too can aspire to new heights.

Read the rest of the list at Black Enterprise.

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Sept. 19 2014 8:34 AM