This structure has come in the form of rules imposed by the first lady. According to a 2012 New York Times story, here are just a few of the rules the Obama children follow:
- The girls have to write reports about trips they take.
- Computer use during the week is only for homework. Television and cellphone (Malia’s) is reserved for the weekend.
- Each girl has to play two sports, one they choose and one their mother selects.
The first one is pretty solid. The second is interesting, but it’s hard because Christine and I use the computer all the time. Sometimes for work, sometimes for goofing off. I’ve been focusing on the difference between creating and consuming in terms of screen time. If the kids want to use the computer to make their own YouTube video, that’s cool. If they’re watching YouTube videos, they better bet putting what they learn into practice. They have all learned a LOT about cooking from watching Nerdy Nummies for example, but haven’t actually put a lot of it into practice.
The sports one just sounds like hell to me. I wouldn’t say organized sports were worse than that hell that was school when I was a kid, but they certainly weren’t any better. I didn’t find anything about them challenging or interesting), and as a parent the idea of giving up a bunch of my life to force kids to go somewhere they’re not already psyched to go and then drive them places or pay for cabs or make sure they biked their on their own just sounds horrible.
I have been working on getting more music into our house though. The kids LIKE music and we haven’t made many opportunities for them to learn how to create it.