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Raising kids in the public eye can't be easy. But the way Michelle Obama tells CafeMom readers, it has its perks ... especially when it comes time for your gorgeous teenage daughter to date. The First Lady is answering questions from moms all week, and when one asked how she and President Barack Obama will handle daughters Malia and Sasha dating, she joked that the Secret Service protection should take care of all the worries!
But it's when Mrs. Obama turned serious about her girls that the real food for thought came out. What she had to say about her daughters is something more parents need to think about when that first date comes calling.
Mrs. O followed up her joke with this message for the moms out there who wonder how these kids will do:
Barack and I are so proud of how our girls are growing up. They're truly kind, respectful, and poised young women, and we couldn't be luckier.
At first, I thought Mrs. Obama evaded the question. But then I looked at what President Obama said when asked something similar on MTV over the weekend. He said he hopes his daughters will date ...
... boys who respect them and value them and understand their worth.
Put them together, and Mrs. Obama's "non-answer" becomes clear. They don't worry about their girls dating because they've raised their girls well.
That's the big issue here, isn't it? Whether we're raising our kids to handle the dating world when it comes knocking? Whether we've given our kids healthy enough self esteem to value themselves in a relationship?
Like the Obamas, I'm parenting a daughter, and although she's considerably younger than Sasha or Malia, she's been infected by the silly "boyfriend/girlfriend" games that crop up in elementary school. I once asked her why she "liked" a certain little boy, and she told me it was because he did nice stuff like pick up her pencil for her.
I was surprised, and then relieved. I don't want her "dating" at this age, but I do want her to grow up knowing that she deserves to be with someone who is nice to her, who does things for her, who values her for who she is.
If we can raise good kids, the thought of them dating becomes considerably less frightening.
What do you think of Michelle Obama's answer here? Do you worry about your kids dating?
Image via Official Government Work/Flickr