Former first lady Michelle Obama made it explicitly clear that her impulse to parent has always superceded her desire to befriend her two daughters.
The New York Times bestselling author facilitated the TV special, “Revolt x Michelle Obama: The Cross-Generational Conversation,” which delved into “gentle parenting” vs. a more stern approach that Obama subscribes to. The panelists included famous mothers like Tina Knowles-Lawson, Winnie Harlow, H.E.R., and Kelly Rowland, and was moderated by radio personality Angie Martinez.
During the discussion, Rowland asked Obama: “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 Rowland could finish the question, Obama cut her off and answered with an emphatic “no.” Obama believes there should be a firm line of demarcation between a parent and their children.
“Once you decide you want your child to be your friend, now you’re worried about them liking you,” Obama explained. “And there’s so much of [being a] 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.”
Michelle got Kelly all the way together. pic.twitter.com/ZV20uN0mCj
— CLANKY CLANK (@HotBoyMatt92) December 17, 2022
Some Twitter respondents concurred with Obama’s sentiments, but others believe Obama’s parental philosophy is antiquated and counterproductive in contemporary society.
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
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
Still, others backed Obama.
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
Obama previousl talked about how she and former President Barack Obama used fear to dissuade their children from adopting certain modern behaviors, such as getting tattoos.
“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!’ ” she said on the “Kelly Clarkson Show.”