April 14th, 2010
09:05 PM ET
11 years ago

Obamas limit time first daughters spend online

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/14/art.obama.lawn.jpg caption="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: Extra • Michelle Obama • Obama family • Popular Posts • Social Media
soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. Norcal DM

    Smart parenting, monitoring what kids do so that they do not get into trouble. Malia and Sasha have fabulous parents so they were already brought up very well, which means the President and the First lady dont have to worry about them. They won't go looking for trouble.

    April 14, 2010 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  2. Michael Donovan

    Well said.

    April 14, 2010 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  3. GuyinVA

    Good for the First Lady. Our politics may be completely different, but this has nothing to do with politics. She is right to stay on top of what her kids are doing. When she said she would be "Mom-In-Chief", many people laughed it off. However, she is the most famous mom in the world right now, and what she says carries a lot of weight.

    April 14, 2010 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  4. Ellie

    This is WHY President Obama and First Lady Michelle are EXCEPTIONAL ROLE MODELS. Parents should take notes and stop relying on the "teachers or schools" to monitor what their children see, read and watch on a daily basis.

    I commend the First Family for setting a GOOD and POSITIVE example, not only for their daughters, but for the rest of the country.

    I never watched TV or anything else in my household during the week. My father made sure we ALL sat down for dinner EVERY NIGHT and that the discussions were about homework, the events for the day, world and local news and lastly family issues/concerns.

    The same rule applies in my household today.

    April 14, 2010 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  5. S.B.

    I wish more parents would follow their example. Kids spending time online and in front of the tv are major contributors to our obesity problem. If they spent that time playing or reading they'd be much better off. I've seen kids texting during our church service, and their parents watching them. That's just plain rude.

    April 14, 2010 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  6. Sherri

    Great parenting! We should all limit our children's screen time. Any time watching TV or surfing the net could be better spent sharing time with family, or reading a book. We had TV and computer limits, and no electronic games. My children all finished college, all have good jobs and no one is overweight!

    April 14, 2010 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  7. Nick

    I am very proud to be an American and to have a great President and First Lady who my daughter can actually learn from!

    April 14, 2010 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  8. Angela Simon

    Its a personal choice on internet use and social networking use

    The President and First Lady have a unique house hold it does not alway apply to every one

    April 14, 2010 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  9. Coris Davis

    No one should really have anything to comment on how she chooses to raise her own kids.

    April 14, 2010 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  10. terra

    Wow – what a gulag the WH must be for those kids – no computer, phones or TV? no fattening food, just munching on veggies. And didn't the President reveal that the one daughter got a 73 on a test, and realized she had to work harder?
    C'mon Michelle, let them have a cookie and watch some TV

    April 14, 2010 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  11. Ostrich

    MsO is really just trying to hide her children from the "heartbeat" of America today, under the rule of their father. The internet is full of various outlets for the American people to voice their feelings about what is going on in America today, and they're not happy campers at all. I wonder what MsO is saying to her girls when they ask why so many people are critical of their father? If she really loves her daughters, and I don't question that she very much does, she should be honest and truthful when they ask? And at the same time, she should also tell the truth when they also ask why so many people that support their father, speak so hatefully and demeaning about good people like George Bush, Sarah Palin, Karl Rove, and others with differing views. The girls will certainly appreciate the truth now and in the future.

    April 14, 2010 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  12. Ginger

    Far be it from me to make recommendations pertaining to how parents should raise their children, but I think more parents should limit their children's use of technology and turn off the television. Listen to your children, guide them and take advantage of the teachable moments that occur each day.

    April 14, 2010 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  13. Ryan

    How exactly do those guidelines make sense – NO technology during the week? If her daughters are the kind of girls to gossip, they'll do it regardless of whether or not they can go on Facebook. And that was the only problem she listed about the internet. Impressive, eh?

    April 14, 2010 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  14. Charlie in Maine

    I've said it before and I will say it again. These folks are the real deal. I would like to invite all you "family values" people to see what it looks like to "value a family". I'm sure the tea-partiers will find some fault with this too but before you rail against the Obama's reflectively, stop and look for a minute.

    Lucky to be an American,
    Proud to be a Democrat.

    April 14, 2010 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  15. IToldUso

    Charles Riley, I take it you could not find anything to write about.

    April 14, 2010 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  16. richard in montana

    I wonder how many of those Tea Party folks limit what their kids are seeing and doing on the old internet????

    April 14, 2010 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  17. Hannah

    It is so refreshing to have this family in our White House. They should be the models for all families across America. I am proud to be an American again.

    April 14, 2010 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  18. Miriam

    Seems pretty strict, but could be a good idea.

    April 14, 2010 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  19. Nik Kripalani

    Yes I understand the dangers of Facebook, but how are you suppose to make friends when you don't know where they are? I guess you have to make friends the old fashioned way. I have had a really hard time. My point fixing a Tutoring time from 8am to 10am.

    April 14, 2010 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  20. dan smith

    Who cares is this really news?

    April 14, 2010 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  21. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    The Obamas' seem like good parents as well as decent people. God Bless them!

    April 14, 2010 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  22. Diane - Dallas

    Our First Lady is such a class act!!!

    April 14, 2010 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  23. Graham

    "[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" ..... Really Michelle?! Glad she wasn't my mum when i was a kid.

    April 14, 2010 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  24. Darrell

    Bravo! Great Parenting....a good family worth praising! Thank God for the Obama family!

    April 14, 2010 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  25. Julie in California

    Bravo, Michelle, Well done.

    April 14, 2010 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
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