Originally posted Dec. 16, 2008
Why not? We could do a whole lot worse. As far as I can
tell the Obama's are a loving, concerned couple who are
well tuned-in to their kids. They are openly affectionate
with their girls, who appear well-adjusted and
The most striking thing about this family is just how 'normal'
they seem. They lack the pretense one might expect from a
'first family,' which makes them feel very familiar and relatable
to the rest of us parents. We appreciate that we've
got folks headed to the White House who 'get' that
we're all in this parenting boat together, that we
cannot succeed in our number one jobs unless other parents do their
We've heard and read that Obama wants us all to step up and be
the best parents we can be (I can already picture the 'Uncle
Sam'-esque poster featuring Barack Obama pointing his
finger in that "I NEED YOU" way). Why is this
important? To put it simply, how you parent your kid may
affect my kid someday, either directly or indirectly. A
simple example? Say our kids meet up as adults and
decide to parent together. Your child will bring his
experience of family life into his work as a parent, and the impact
will be felt by my child and their children. More
immediately, the mood and frame of mind that your child walks in to
school with each day, should they be schoolmates, can impact
my kid's day, too. Obama's right-on to assert that
parenting matters to us all. It'll be interesting to see how
he and Michelle continue to parent under the
growing pressure and curiosity that will, no doubt,
follow them to Pennsylvania Avenue. Not that we'll ever
really know, though, as no one knows what goes on behind closed
My advice to parents? Don't judge yourselves too harshly
against the beautiful pictures we see of the Obama
clan. Their kids probably have meltdowns too, and,
I'll wager, so do they.
The Chicago Tribune recently explored American parents'
fascination with the Obama's as parents (and even quoted li'l ol'
Jennifer DuBose, M.S., C.A.S., is a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice in Batavia.
See more of Jennifer's stories here.
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