Michelle Obama has opened up about the influence her parents have had on how she has raised her two daughters, Sasha and Malia.
The former US First Lady said that her mother and father, Fraser and Marian Robinson, always encouraged her to have opinions and took the time to listen to them. They also nurtured a solution-based mentality - the idea that they could moan about anything so long as she and her brother came up with a way of fixing it.
“My parents had a strong sense of how to parent and taught us at an early age to figure it out,” Obama said. “They let us know, that as children, our opinions mattered. But they encouraged us to contribute to the solution. You could air it out, but you had to be the one to solve whatever it was.”
“When I go throughout my day, I often ask myself, ‘Am I doing what I think Marian and Fraser would expect me to do?’” she said.
Talking at American Library Association’s annual conference in New Orleans, as reported by Associated Press, Obama said her mother helps the family remain rooted and humble.
“We had butlers and housekeepers at the White House, but my mother would tell them, ’Don’t touch my underwear. I got it,’” she said. “She’s the one who taught my girls how to do laundry. She keeps us humble and focused on what’s important. She’s also my sounding board. She’ll sit and just listen and then ask me, ‘What do you think you should do about that?’”