Former First Lady Michelle Obama is speaking on her approach to parenting, and she’s in favor of having firm boundaries rather than being buddy-buddy.
Michelle Obama: ‘Kids Have To Learn To Live With Unfairness’
During Michelle’s recent REVOLT TV special, REVOLT x Michelle Obama: The Cross-Generational Conversation, a discussion surrounding “gentle parenting” was brought up amongst the panel—which consisted of Michelle Obama, Tina Knowles-Lawson, Winnie Harlow, H.E.R., and Kelly Rowland. Additionally, Angie Martinez served as the moderator.
At one point, Kelly addressed Michelle and asked, “Isn’t there a part of you that wants to be a trusted friend too, or do you just put yourself in the parent box?”
Before the R&B icon could even finish her question, Michelle responded with a firm “no.”
Obama went on to explain her rationale, saying that parents shouldn’t be concerned with their kids “liking” them.
“Once you decide you want your child to be your friend, now you’re worried about them liking you. And there’s so much of parent that has nothing to do with them liking you…So much of what you’re gonna have to teach them is counter to what they want.”
She continued, noting that parents have a duty to equip their children to handle some of life’s hardships.
“With a friend, you want them happy all the time. Your kids have to learn to live in their unhappiness. They have to learn how to live with unfairness, and they have to learn it in their house. Their first bout of unfairness can’t be at school or when they’re 30.”
Michelle got Kelly all the way together. pic.twitter.com/ZV20uN0mCj
— CLANKY CLANK (@HotBoyMatt92) December 17, 2022
Twitter Thinks Kelly’s Point About ‘Gentle Parenting’ Was Lost In Translation
While Michelle’s commentary received support from her fellow panelists, Twitter provided some pushback.
One user said that Michelle’s comments were akin to “very old parenting propaganda.”
That interview that Kelly and Michelle Obama were doing about raising kids, reminds me of a very old parenting propaganda.
— Zeke’s Poem (@ty_sarr) December 20, 2022
This interview/dialogue w/ Kelly Rowland, Michelle Obama, et al., at the least the clips I've seen, feels centered on driving us back to some traditional ways of parenting & marriage…Kelly seems to want to critically think about these things, specifically gentle parenting, but.
— Pratt's Double Consciousness Live (@JBPrattJrPhD) December 17, 2022
Others asserted that parents should be able to be friends with their kids, as “moms play many roles.”
Absolutely. Even as a friend, you know your friends aren’t going to always like you. If you aren’t willing to check your friends are you even really friends?
— London (@CuriousMindPB) December 18, 2022
You can definitely be a mother and your child’s friend. It’s all about boundaries. That boundary can be hard to figure out though but it’s possible and definitely VERY important https://t.co/dwEbe9OIgv
— Sim 🇳🇬 (@SimmingTingzz) December 19, 2022
Additionally, Kelly was called out for mixing up the true definition of gentle parenting, while Michelle’s approach was dubbed “authoritative.”
Facts Michele has authoritative parenting down to a T
— Kenny Sama (@KennyL5S5) December 18, 2022
However, some felt that Michelle had a solid point.
This what Michelle Obama was talking about! These kids is not one of your lil frens. Them is fighting words https://t.co/GoEUf7CIgN
— Bre'on (@_BayBey) December 19, 2022
I’m 100% for gentle parenting. But Michelle Obama makes a good point: are parents sacrificing discipline for likeability? Being your child’a friend requires you to be likeable. Thinking back, my most memorable lessons came from the teachers/adults I did not particularly “like.”
— Unconquerable Soul (@ThatGuyPHIve) December 17, 2022
Michelle Also Spoke On ‘Threatening’ Her Kids To Not Get Tattoos
While on the subject of Michelle’s parenting style, we should also note that she recently spoke on how she and Barack Obama humorously dissuaded their daughters from getting tatted.
During an appearance on The Kelly Clarkson Show, Obama and Clarkson spoke on how tattoos have become more acceptable than back in the day.
After Michelle acknowledged that “tattoos meant something totally different” for her generation, she revealed how she and Barack handled the matter with their children, Malia and Sasha.
“We used to threaten our kids [by saying], ‘If you get a tattoo, we’re going to get exactly the same kind, and show it on TikTok or whatever’…We’re gonna make it so uncool!”
Do you agree with Michelle Obama’s comments on parenting, or do you think Kelly Rowland has a point?