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Date [ 2014-01-30, 05:38 ]

The Presidential way of bringing up children.

(Kuala Lumpur=Koreanpress) by Annuar Aziz) = If you are a family man and in the middle of bringing up children, especially if they are in the difficult teenage bracket, you might want to take some tips from America’s First Family – the Obamas.

Some recent articles, one from Quartz and also some newspapers gave an insight on how the President and his wife are bringing up their daughters. Here is a brief summary of the rules and regulations they impose, laced with lots of love of course!

1.  Let us start with the digital world. Read that as computers, smartphones, television and the likes! In the White House the girls are to use the computer only for homework. The idiot box and mobile phones are to come into use only on weekends. Most or nearly all households will find this impossible to enforce. But the presidential couple sees this as character building, where one has to say ‘no’ when one longs to say ‘yes.’It is akin to the Tamils, some of whom go vegetarian for one day or two days in a week. The rationale to do so is more of self-displace than religious. S. Ramasamy, an office clerk explained,”I am tempted to eat meat as it is all around me. So it is a test of my will power whether I say’ no’ to meat for the day.” He continued,”It also teaches me compassion and to appreciate things. If I for a day I suffer so much because I can’t eat meat, what about the poor who hardly have a meal a day, let alone meat!  So I am grateful for what I have.”  

2.  The Obamas will not dive into e-mails or social medias such as Daybook to check on their girls’ whereabouts. They are allowed trips but then come the difficult part – writing reports! They have to write it down and so have the opportunity to mull on their experiences and the lessons learnt from the trip. It stops them from losing the art of writing or communication. A far distance from most of today’s children who have the compulsion of going from one form of entertainment to another. Have you seen the number of kids and adults glued to the games they play on their smartphones? They do it everywhere, hardly talking to anyone with them or lifting their heads up from their smartphone panel.

3.  The family that eats together apparently stays together! It reins everyone in and makes known that ‘FAMILY’ is important. Time has to be made for each other, a time where one can discover what else is happening in the family and with each other. Being together at dinnertime is important because it promotes conversations, Besides; it is a good teacher of etiquette and table manners. Rare commodities these days.

4.   Just as God rested on the seventh day of creation, Sunday is family day for the President and his family. A lot of families today break off to do their own thing with friends and the family bond is lost! This is the time family values can be assessed, plans made for the coming week so that everyone knows in which direction the family is going to go and the day can very well end in total relaxation for all. 

5.   The girls have to play two sports each. One that is left to their choice and the other selected by their mother. We can apply this ruling to other aspects in our own families. It can be applied to not only sports but other extracurricular activities as well. It will help nature talents, some not even realised by the child itself. This can range from singing to reading books and should wean them away from all the electronic gadgets hitting us today. If you look closely, this choice of two activities helps build character and confidence.

So while the President’s detractors can claim he is bringing the country down, the same cannot be said about his family. The children certainly have the right upbringing.


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