Michelle Obama reflects on how her mum's parenting methods shaped her as a mother

Michelle and Barack Obama with Sasha and Malia
Michelle and Barack Obama with Sasha and Malia Photo: Instagram

No matter how old you are, mum knows best!

Michelle Obama opened up in the season finale of The Michelle Obama Podcast on raising self-reliant children.

Michelle and Barack Obama's daughters have been in the public eye since Barack became president of the United States in 2009. Malia was 10 and Sasha, seven, when they moved into the White House, and despite growing up in extreme circumstances, Michelle has made sure they have their feet firmly on the ground.

Crediting her own mother for her parenting skills, the former first lady revealed she taught her girls to be responsible from an early age.

"If you are looking for a child to be self-reliant when they're 21, 22, you have to make them practice that as early as five," she reveals.

"If you don't teach a kid how to wake up on their own when they're young and it's easy, yeah, you could be waking them up, for the rest of their lives, because you don't make them practice it, Michelle, 56, was joined by her brother, Craig Robinson, 58, and mother Marian Robinson on the podcast where the siblings praised their mum for teaching them to be self-reliant from an early age.

 "You expected us to be, responsible, for ourselves, at a very early age, um, setting our alarm clocks very early, I mean, making our beds, all that stuff," Michelle said. "You stopped waking us up, um, very early."

Marian recalled telling them jokingly, "you can lay in the bed if you want, I already have my education."

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"That was also the beauty of you and dad. Is that you made our successes and our failures, our own," Michelle continued. "You know, you were always there for us, but, you, you believed that, you get good grades for you. Not for me,"

 "I always felt like, I'm getting up for me…it's not because my mum is making me do it, but she told me that I'm responsible for my education," she said.

Marian shared that she always wanted her children to know they were capable of thinking for themselves.

"I think everyone is smart if their parents think they're smart," she said. "And treat them as if they're smart and treat them with respect."

Michelle and her family also discuss early childhood experiences with racism and the police, and their relationship with their late father in the finale of the podcast.