April 15th, 2010
11:40 AM ET
8 years ago

Obamas limit time first daughters spend online

Michelle Obama limits the amount of time the first family spends online, she said Wednesday in an interview with CNN.

Michelle Obama limits the amount of time the first family spends online, she said Wednesday in an interview with CNN.

Washington (CNN) - First lady Michelle Obama revealed Wednesday that there are strict rules on the use of technology within the walls of the White House's East Wing - at least during the week and only if your name is "Sasha" or "Malia."

"[I]n my household, you know, we try to establish a set of guidelines and rules that make sense - no computers, phones, television during the week," the first lady said Wednesday in an interview with CNN en Espanol's Juan Carlos Lopez that aired on CNN's The Situation Room.

Obama called the question of how much technology is too much a generational issue, but said educators and parents are beginning to understand the unique challenges posed by the Internet and social networking platforms.

"We talk a lot with [our daughters] about the dangers of Facebook and sort of getting into that social networking kind of gossip mill or, you know, that - that comes from those activities," the first lady said, "[W]e spend a lot of time talking to our kids. And fortunately, more schools are understanding the challenges and they're doing more to educate families, as well as parents and children, about the pros and cons of excessive use of the Internet and all these new networking technologies."

Obama is in Mexico as part of her first solo official trip as first lady. On Wednesday morning, Obama met with Mexican first lady Margarita Zavala at Los Pinos, the Mexican president's residency. Other events on her itinerary included a tour of the Museo Nacional de Antropologia (National Museum of Anthropology) and a public elementary school that serves local low-income students.

On Tuesday, she made a surprise visit to the earthquake ravaged nation of Haiti.

Filed under: Michelle Obama • Obama family • Popular Posts • Social Media
soundoff (116 Responses)
  1. Joy

    Wonderful message!
    Parents are too busy to pay attention to the "busi"ness of their young ones, especially with hand held electronic games and the internet.

    I think the more affluent the Yuppies get the less time they pay to their children and what they are doing.

    Children 3,4,5 years old are masters of the hand held games and many of their minds are mastered by the games.

    God help those who must try to teach these hyperactive children.

    April 15, 2010 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  2. carolflowery

    you cant even do homework assignments any moer without a compter, give me abreak

    April 15, 2010 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  3. Tom

    Good for Michelle for enforcing the rules. Now, if more parents would do so instead of their kids running the household.

    April 15, 2010 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  4. Brijhy

    I love her!

    April 15, 2010 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  5. themoi

    He may not be that great a President but at least he and Michelle are parents and not parunts and don't let their kids run them. They should have 2 well-adjusted, well behavied ladies on their hands when they grow up. Kudos to them on that!

    April 15, 2010 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  6. Larry L

    The First Family serves as a great model for Americans to emulate. Watching the First Lady relate with the children of Mexico was heart-warming. They are living examples of "family values".

    April 15, 2010 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  7. The Other Michael in Houston

    Bravo to you Ms. Obama. So many of our youth are not being monitored by their parents. Parents these days don't take the time out to talk to their children, read with their children, or even spend time with their children. Furthermore, their is this crazy notion that we as parents "must give our kids what we did not have". That is what is wrong with our youth today. When you got 16 year old kids, destroying an IPAD and posting the video on youtube, only to go out and get a new one, well, enough said. I remember when Walkmans first came out (yeah I know I am revealing my age) and I wanted one badly, you know when I got one, when I got my first paycheck from my first job and bought it myself. Sure my parents could have got it but they wanted me to work for it and buy it myself. So props to you FLOTUS for setting an example for these parents.

    April 15, 2010 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  8. Lorraine, USA

    Good for you, First Lady Michele Obama! I hope you are a motivation to America's parents to stop the madness of constant texting and internet networking by young children. This whole business is out of control.

    April 15, 2010 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  9. Helen Haase

    Mrs. Obama is an icon of human decency around the globe. As an American citizen, I am very proud to have her represent the United States as First Lady. I believe that President Obama along with his wife have done a lot to restore the respect and standing of our country in the eyes of world, which is essential to effective diplomacy and foreign policy.

    April 15, 2010 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  10. Rumsfeld

    Now, please find a way to criticize what POTUS and FLOTUS are doing in this instance, go ahead find something wrong with what they are doing in regard to their family.

    April 15, 2010 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  11. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    The First Couple are sticking to the script that they layed out on the campign trail. It's time for parents to start parenting and get the kids from in front of the TV and off the X-Box, and doing some schoolwork. Good way to lead by example First Family.

    April 15, 2010 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  12. PJP

    Obama ought to be a man and limit his time being president!

    April 15, 2010 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  13. Lobedawgs

    I think the first lady is setting a very good example here. I hope parents that see this interview take her advice.

    April 15, 2010 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  14. Helen

    This is the values of a true family who wants to curb all types of miscommunication between parent and child. People if more families talk and share common knowledge on what is going on in this world today. The Obama's may not be perfect but they are on the right track in raising their girls.

    April 15, 2010 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  15. Janeen

    Parents of today do not want to talk to their kids. They give them video games, ipods, and their own computers in their bedrooms so they won't be bothered by their kids.

    April 15, 2010 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  16. DJ in TX

    She's absolutely right. My wife and I talk regularly with our son about the same things as well as other things kids have to worry about these days (sec, drugs, smoking, drinking, bullying, etc).

    More parents need to this. We can't leave it up to the schools. They have some programs, but it needs to be reinforced at home.

    Bravo, Mrs. Obama.

    April 15, 2010 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  17. heather

    I have the same rules in my home, my girls are 7 and 10. There is absolutely No tv on weekdays and limited on weekends. Today's youth need to excercise there brain power....computers make children mentally and physically LAZY. I am so glad to see that the First family are raising the girls to be "grounded" They will reap the rewards. people always tell me that my girls remind them of Sasha and Malia, and I take that as a compliment. My girls are also active in gymnastics and track, so they have no time for internet, only for projects and sometimes they play some "fantage."

    April 15, 2010 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  18. Conan

    Now this is a good example for other parents to follow!!!!

    April 15, 2010 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  19. faithful democrat/jacksonville

    Great decision Mr. President and First Lady. You have shown great values as well as what's best for the children. There's alot of garbage and non-sense on twitter, facebook, my-space, etc. It's okay for alittle while but not everyday and hours. That's the problem with alot of what's happening to our children and young people today, spending to much time on the intranet. They're spending alot of time as well and reading alot of untrue information and gossip. Prayers always for your family and the Obama administration as well as for all those who has been chosen to lead in their areas. I have always had great confidence and trust the decision of "our" President. GOD BLESS....

    April 15, 2010 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  20. Briana the college student

    Conservatives will find a problem with how the Obamas raise their children too.

    April 15, 2010 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  21. Tech-no

    We don't allow TV or computers [except for homework] or video games during the week.

    Not always easy to keep up with.

    April 15, 2010 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  22. Tatheg

    I don't think Michelle gets it .... If the kids aren't using computers they won't know HOW to use them properly ...

    April 15, 2010 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  23. Phil

    Why is this news?

    April 15, 2010 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  24. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Parents that allow their kids unsupervised access to the internet are just asking for trouble. What with all the 'social' sites, Facebook et al, their kids are literally making themselves known to people throughout the world. With the emotional instability and lack of maturity that accompanies the teenage years, parents need to be extra vigilant of their children's activities while on the computer.

    And yes, I believe that if I'm paying your mortgage, your food bill, clothing and caring for you I get access to your room and your stuff. It may sound antiquated, but al this psychological babble about respecting their privacy, and knocking on doors in your own home, is just that: babble. I wish some little twerp that I'm supporting tells me to knock first before coming in!! You got something of a private nature to do, may I recommend the bathroom, if you catch my drift!

    April 15, 2010 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  25. LisaB

    The FLOTUS is a great mom. Keeping those kids grounded has to be full time job, but the rules and guidelines she implements are not the discovery of the cure for cancer. I implement those same rules, as should other parents, for my teenager. If these kids picked up a book as much as they pick up laptops, remote controls and cell phones, we would be a better off country instead of being beat out by the Chinese, Japanese, and now Koreans- and other countries who used to be third world, at every turn in every category. Those kids in Korea go to school everyday excepy Sunday, yearound and every student wears a uniform, that alone explains a lot! Not to mention that more American kids would look like kids instead of fat future medical emergencies.

    April 15, 2010 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
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