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Barack Obama on raising kids Malia and Sasha: ‘Took different strategies with our girls’

Raising kids is like nurturing plants, said the former president. He emphasised that each child is unique and has to be raised differently.

By: Parenting Desk |
Updated: September 24, 2019 8:14:40 am
barack obama, michelle obama, parentiing Barack and Michelle Obama with daughters Malia and Sasha (Source: barackobama/Instagram)

Former POTUS Barack Obama may have won attention with his leadership qualities but looks like he owes his skills to none other than his daughters.

Obama recently spoke about what he learned from parenting daughters Malia and Sasha, at an event in San Francisco.

Raising kids is like nurturing plants, said the former president. He emphasised that each child is unique and has to be raised differently. He was quoted as saying, “They’re a bamboo or they’re an oak or they’re a chestnut. They all need water, sunlight, some TLC, but how they grow and what place, when the branches sprout, when they flower at any given time, it’s just different. And so, our daughters are very different, and as they got older, they became identifiable.”

Malia has a calm temperament like her father while Sasha is more like her mother, said the doting dad.

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Sharing parenting tips, Obama expressed, “In parenting, the idea that you do the exact same thing with each child the same way actually doesn’t make sense. There has to be equity and fairness in terms of wanting them to get to the same outcomes, but we had to take sort of different strategies with our girls on certain things.” This is also “a good leadership lesson,” he added.

For the Obamas, the aim is to teach their daughters to make good decisions in life, often making their father figure out to how to balance wanting to help them and allowing them to make mistakes.

“You’ve got to give folks enough room and ownership to be able to figure stuff out, and by doing that, it means they’re going to be making mistakes. That’s part of that process of development,” said Obama.

Not just the POTUS, even Michelle Obama believes in a similar parenting style. In a recent interview with Meghan Markle, she talked about how parents need to fight their tendency to control their child’s life completely. “Bruised knees, bumpy roads and broken hearts are part of the deal,” she had said.

Michelle had also talked about how Malia and Sasha “couldn’t be more different” from one another. “In some ways, Malia and Sasha couldn’t be more different. One speaks freely and often, one opens up on her own terms. One shares her innermost feelings, the other is content to let you figure it out. Neither approach is better or worse, because they’ve both grown into smart, compassionate and independent young women, fully capable of paving their own paths,” she had expressed.

Also Read| Baby boy Archie: How royal parenting traditions have changed since Princess Diana

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