The Obama family opens up their Chicago home to People magazine for a look inside their daily lives. Michelle and Barack open up about parenting their two daughters Malia and Sasha:
Do you give your girls an allowance?
Michelle: Sorta, kinda. [Laughs]
Barack: I’m out of town all the time, so Malia will say, “Hey, you owe me 10 weeks!” … Originally, we were giving her a dollar a week as long as she did all her chores. It turns out that she’s been doing her chores even without prompting from the allowance, which makes me feel guilty that she’s been carrying on her end of the bargain and I haven’t been as consistent.
What types of chores?
Barack: Setting the table, rinsing the dishes.
Michelle: They have to clean up their half of the third floor where they play. They have a closet of toys they have to clean up. They have to practice their piano every day.
What does discipline look like in your house?
Barack: Mommy raising her voice.
Michelle: It’s usually a lecture. It’s a lot of conversation. Or it’s separating them. Or it’s saying if you guys can’t decide nicely what program to watch, then you don’t get to watch anything. It’s sort of pulling away a privilege. But in all honesty, we don’t have to discipline –
Barack: If you ask them to do something, they’re like any other kid …
Michelle: They’ll whine a little bit.
Barack: They’ll test boundaries. But if you say, “Guys, this is what we need to do …”
Michelle: An example of this is one night I was going out, I had to do a fund-raiser, and I told Malia, “You guys really need to have an early bedtime because you’ve got to get up tomorrow and have a busy day.” So my mom was there, and my mom doesn’t adhere to bedtime. She’s kinda, “Well, maybe you wanna start taking your bath…” But that night, she said she sat down to watch TV with them and they both got up, turned off the TV and left. And my mom was like, “Where are you going?” And they said, “We have got to go to bed early today, Grandma.” And they went downstairs, took their baths and went to bed, and my mom was just stunned.
Make sure you pick up a copy of this issue, on newsstands now.
In other Obama news: Obama is currently touring the Middle-East and Europe to build a good relationship with other countries:
Obama in Berlin, Germany on July 24, 2008.
Obama meeting with troops in Iraq on July 18, 2008
Obama meets with Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert on July 23 in Israel.