Michelle Obama recently sat down for an interview with Oprah Winfrey, and the duo discussed all kinds of topics. One of those was motherhood. The former first lady and her husband, former President Barack Obama, are parents to two daughters: Malia and Sasha.
Malia and Sasha spent their formative years growing up under the eye of the entire country while their dad was president. Both Michelle and Barack have always seemed like really reasonable parents, so it didn’t come as a big surprise when Michelle said she doesn’t follow either of her daughters on social media. Her reason: they are young adults, and should be able to make their own decisions.
Malia is currently at Harvard, while Sasha attends classes at the University of Michigan. Michelle shared that she doesn’t keep tabs on her kids online, because she can count on younger family members to do it for her.
She says she tells her daughters, “What I tell them is what I continue to tell themselves is that they have to walk their own walk. They cannot define themselves by looking at each other or looking at me or their dad. They have to take the time to get to know themselves — give themselves a moment to figure out who they want to be in the world, not who they think I want them to be, not what the rest of the world says about them, but to really think about how they want to shape their lives and how they want to move in this world. So, I don’t want them measuring themselves by external influences, and for young girls that is hard to do.”
Taking the time to give her daughters this kind of advice and experience is likely part of the reason why Michelle was named one of the most admired women in the world, alongside her friend Oprah and actress Emma Watson.
Another reason? Her refreshing perspective on life. Of their time in the White House, she said, “The House didn’t define us. It’s the values that defined us.”