On Parenting: What I learned from Michelle Obama’s Becoming
Throughout her memoir Becoming, Michelle Obama writes about some of the stories and lessons that she learned from her parents and classmates growing up, as well as from having two daughters of her own.
I am sharing below some of the paragraphs that have touched me the most and the advice that I gathered about parenting from reading these stories.
1. Kids get their fundamental knowledge from their parents. The answer to their every question, well answered or not, becomes their conviction. So spend quality time with them. Don’t rush answers for the sake of convenience, as Michelle Obama puts it.
2. As kids learn about life, they have different, untouched and unobstructed views on things that we could all learn from. With their help, we could change our ways for the better. Be open to revising your ideologies and habits.
3. The best way to prepare children for the realities of life is to address them as they come up. Do not shy away from topics that are uncomfortable to talk about.
4. Kids don’t become bad kids if enough attention is given to them. As Mrs. Obama says it, children know when they're being devalued and act out as a response to the bad circumstances adults put them in. The opposite happens if they're being invested in.
5. Let kids experience life for themselves. Don’t lecture and impose things on them. Let them do what feels natural to them because, as long as you have taught them the right values, they will not do the wrong thing. So don’t suppress their personalities.
6. Raise children to be adults. It's their life, so let them be in charge of it, make mistakes, and learn from them.
7. Teach young girls that they don't have to wait for a man in order to be happy and live their lives. Teach them that life doesn't revolve around a man.
8. Don't raise children to become people-pleasers.
9. Let children navigate their own emotions by not taking a stance on their more ephemeral and insignificant circumstances. Don't teach them to expect someone else to be happy for their highs and overly concerned with their lows.
This memoir has helped me gain a new perspective on parenting, changing my views on the role of being a parent.
I hope these few paragraphs I shared above have helped you learn something new, a different approach to life and parenting. I hope it's helpful to you, not only as a parent but also as a son or daughter.
I also hope that this intrigued you enough to want to read this wonderful book, Becoming by Michelle Obama.
This life is yours, not your parents', and it always will be.