Even at the White House


I was listening to one of the morning news shows today and caught an interview with Michelle Obama. One of the questions asked of her was how were her daughters doing one year after becoming daughters of a President of the United States. Mrs. Obama answered that she thought they were doing pretty well and that that had been one of her main goals as they embarked on this enormous journey as a family.

I have to say, I thought WOW! I was thinking how great it would be to be able to interview her and ask her questions about her philosophy of parenting and how to build a healthy family. I guess though, that through her answer to the interviewer, I already know what she thinks....thus my title this week...Even at the White House!

One of the main premises I have talked about is being mindful of the choices we make as parents. Mrs. Obama actually spoke directly to that indicating that she and the President are truly aware that the choices they make can have a profound affect on their children. She actually said something like we need to be mindful of the choices we make so they don't negatively affect our kids lives. I did not put quotes around that because it is a paraphrase...not the exact words. I think I was still trying to wake up and finish my coffee when she was on t.v., but I do have to say YEAH!!

You know, I have spoken to the fact that our kids have absolutely no say into how or when they are brought into this world. They are stuck with the parents they get. I was speaking yesterday with one of the Moms in the class I teach, about kids and parents. It was actually quite fun because we were watching her son gleefully make snow angels in the side of the school yard. She shared with me that growing up she would hear people talk about their parents and blame them for the negative things in their lives, or blame parents for a number of reasons. She said she used to think that was such a cop out...(actually it is), but she also said that as she has become a parent now, she realizes how huge the responsibility it is to be a good parent and to do the right things for each of your children. She has surmised that parents really do make a difference. I shared with her the story I tell my now adult children, which is I know that any problem in their life is my fault. It always is the mother's fault, sometimes the father gets blamed, but mostly it is the mother who takes the brunt.. and that I have given them my blessing to talk openly and honestly with any good therapist about all that I did wrong in raising them! :) I accept the fact that I am not perfect and wish them only the best in resolving any issue they need to with their therapist. I have told them I did the best I could and so God speed!

Seriously though, it is truly up to us as parents. We do not have to spend our lives agonizing over how to be perfect parents. Remember last week I said that perfect is a word that scares me, and that excellence is what we should shoot for! Being a good parent means that we truly are mindful in the choices and decisions we make in parenting our children. Each person will have a unique and individual style. That is one of the great things about being a parent. We get to decide what is best for the children we have, not our neighbors kids, but the kids we have been blessed with to raise. Now I do know that sometimes our children do not seem like blessings, but that is for another time!

In choosing how to raise our children we need to put in the time. We need to demonstrate that each of our kids is important we need to show them that we value them and respect them. Yes, it is important, I believe to respect our children. We do not get to boss them around without reason and do not get to treat them as possessions. Our children do not belong to us they are leant to us . Our job is to help them become capable, ethical, competent, loving adults who will be able to add value to this world we all live in. What they choose to do is up to them. It is up to us to give them the tools they need to be successful people. By being successful I don't mean making a lot of money. I define success as a person who is able to add value and integrity to this world.

So, there you have it! Choose mindfully to be involved in your children's lives. Be aware that the choices you make don't negatively affect your children. Do the right thing, choose your children and your family above all else. If the President and Mrs. Obama can do that, you can too!

Until next time,