Whether you agree with his politics or not, it's hard to argue that Barack and Michelle Obama are not good parents -- or argue it effectively anyway. They are hands-on, obviously loving, and they are fantastic role models for other parents. A perfect example of this came this weekend when President Obama was not in some high level meeting, or at a fancy dinner, but rather watching his daughter Sasha's dance recital.
Could he have asked for a private performance, or used one pretty darn good excuse for missing it -- you know, like having to run the country? Absolutely. But he didn't; he went.
It was held at an arts center in Bethesda, Maryland, and it was only about an hour that he was there. But what a thrill for the other parents and students there, and more importantly -- how meaningful for Sasha that her father was there.
Being a parent is about so much more than showing up, but showing up is also an important part of the job. We can pay for all the private lessons, expensive coaches and camps, but it's our interest in what our kids are doing that often helps them more than anything. It's them looking out into the crowd and seeing us there, caring about what they're doing.
It's not easy. Those earrrrrly Saturday morning soccer games would be so easy to skip for sleep. Saving vacations days for a "real" vacation can be much more tempting than using them to attend your kid's holiday performance. And we're all so busy -- they won't miss us, we think. But they do. That doesn't mean we'll never miss a game or have to be absent from a special performance, but it does mean we should do our best to be there for them, even when it's not convenient.
For all of the advantages we work to give our kids, sometimes the best thing we can give them is our time. I love that our President knows this and lives it. He's exemplifying family values at their finest.
Do you attend your children's activities?
Image via White House