Below is a short discussion inspired by Craig Robinson on the episode, "Growing Up with Craig and Michelle" from The Michelle Obama Podcast.
Michelle Obama is very close to her older brother Craig Robinson. She refers to him as her first hero. Their childhood experiences have taught them lessons that are valuable in raising their own children.
On this episode of the Michelle Obama Podcast, Michelle sits down with her brother Craig, to talk about their life as siblings, the lessons they learned from their parents, and their experiences growing up.
Here’s what they learned growing up, and what they do today as parents:
- Let children explore. We can’t always keep making decisions for our children, because we might prevent them from learning the lessons that come with taking responsibility. When we let children make choices and face consequences, we help them become mature and more confident.
- Let children ask. When we let children ask questions, even difficult ones, we can cultivate their curiosity. This curiosity can help them make sound decisions about problems they may face growing up.
- Let children be themselves. Avoid making them feel like they have to change for our approval. When we appreciate children for who they are, we uplift their self-esteem. This allows them to confidently pursue their unique personality and interests.
- “Show up” for other people. Make deliberate efforts to connect with others. Lend a hand if you can. It could be in person, through a phone call, or a text message. The important thing is to make others know that we are here for them.
When we allow our children to ask questions, trust their ability to be independent, and encourage them to be themselves, we fill our future with intelligent, independent, and confident individuals.
the distilld lessons
Here are the distilld lessons from the "Growing Up with Craig and Michelle" episode of The Michelle Obama Podcast.
Michelle and Craig’s confidence were developed through bike rides. When their parents let them ride their bikes on their own, despite the dangers involved, they became more confident in themselves.
Let children explore. We can’t always keep making decisions for our children because we might prevent them from learning the lessons they need later in life.
When we let children make choices and face consequences, we help them become mature and more confident.
Accommodate children’s questions. When they ask about any topic, we should take our time to answer them and encourage their curiosity and learning.
When we appreciate children for who they are, we uplift their self-esteem. This allows them to confidently pursue their unique personality and interests.
Michelle and Craig disagreed on what coffin to pick for their father’s remains. Michelle wanted what’s expensive, Craig wanted what’s practical. When they were on the verge of fighting, they stopped when they realized they don’t know how to fight. They're that close.
After their father passed, Craig filled in the role of the father figure in Michelle’s life. He made sure that she was safe and protected. He also kept all of her suitors in check— including, of course, former president Barrack Obama.
Show up for other people. It could be in person, through a phone call, or a text message This way, other people can feel they’re not alone in what they’re going through.
Stay close with your family. They’re the ones who can know us best and the ones who will accept us for who we are. When we maintain a close relationship with them, it can help us build strong relationships outside our home.
Be your brother’s/sister’s keeper. Be a good role model to your sibling, whether you’re the elder or the younger. Look out for them and their best interests.
- Answer children’s questions factually. When children ask us especially sensitive questions, we should answer them truthfully. When we do, we can encourage their curiosity and make sure that they get reliable information.
- Let children be themselves. When we appreciate children for who they are, we can help improve their self-esteem. This allows them to confidently pursue their unique personality and interests.
- “Show up” for other people. We can make conscious effort to connect and help others out—be it in person, in a call, or through text. The important thing is we can let them know that we are there for them.
- Stay close with your family. They are the ones who know us best, and the ones who can accept us for who we are. When we maintain a close relationship with them, it can help us build strong relationships with others.
- Be your sibling’s keeper. Whether we’re the older sibling, or the younger one, we can be good role models to our siblings. We should look out for them and their best interests.
For a more in depth conversation, the distilld lessons (extended) are here.