Last week, Michelle Obama and Melania Trump met for the first time, following White House tradition when the first lady would invite the US President-elect’s wife to tea, Today reports. As they enjoyed their tea, President Obama and President-elect Donald Trump met for the first time. These meetings, which followed a gruelling and ugly campaign period, was pleasant, with Trump even tweeting:
Melania, a former model from Slovenia, will be the first foreign-born first lady since 1829 (the then-president John Quincy Adams’ wife, Louisa Adams, was British). After Melania was called out for lifting portions of her speech at July’s GOP convention from Michelle’s 2008 speech at the DNC convention, word got out that Melania had always admired Michelle. Melania’s speechwriter, who took the blame for the whole debacle, wrote in her statement:
“In working with Melania Trump on her recent first lady speech, we discussed many people who inspired her and messages she wanted to share with the American people. A person she has always liked is Michelle Obama. Over the phone, she read me some passages from Mrs. Obama’s speech as examples.”
Michelle and Melania, dedicated mothers
Photo: The White House/Flickr
Melania only made a handful of appearances during her husband’s campaign, as she spent most of her time focusing on raising their son. This goes to show that even first ladies know their priorities: family always comes first. Melania once talked to Parenting magazine about her dedication to Barron, saying:
“I am a full-time mom; that is my first job. The most important job ever. I started my business when he started school. When he is in school I do my meetings, my sketches, and everything else. I cook him breakfast. Bring him to school. Pick him up. Prepare his lunch. I spend the afternoon with him. Sometimes I have obligations, but I also think children need to see a parent do what her passion is. It is a good example for a child. So the child can find passion as well and follow that passion in the future.”
Michelle and Melania found common ground in their role as parents, and discussed the unique challenge of raising kids in the White House. Melania and Donald Trump’s son, Barron, will be the first boy to live at the White House since John F. Kennedy Jr. Barron is 10 years old—the same age Obamas’ eldest daughter Sasha was when they moved into the White House. Their youngest daughter Sasha was seven.
All his life, Barron has lived in Trump Tower in New York, where he has an entire floor to himself. The Telegraph reports. He currently goes to school at the exclusive Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School in Manhattan. But he may soon be enrolling at Sidwell Friends in Washington DC — where the children of past presidents have attended for the last 35 years. The bilingual child speaks Slovenian with his grandparents and his mother.
According to his mother, though Barron gets his looks from both his mother and his father, he gets his personality from his father. “He is a very strong-minded, very special, smart boy,” Melania told Parenting. “He is independent and opinionated and knows exactly what he wants.”
Barron has stayed out of the spotlight for most of his life. But now that he is moving into the White House, we’re sure to see more of him. It will be interesting to watch this first son grows up.
Parenting in the White House
Though the details of Michelle and Melania’s conversation haven’t been released, we can imagine that they covered plenty of ground on raising children in the public eye. In her speech at the 2016 DNC Convention, Michelle talked about how nervous she felt when her family moved into the White House:
“I realized that our time in the White House would form the foundation for who they would become, and how well we managed this experience could truly make or break them. That is what Barack and I think about every day as we try to guide and protect our girls through the challenges of this unusual life in the spotlight.”
During the Obamas’ 8 years in the White House, Malia and Sasha have grown up in the public eye without any scandals — a remarkable feat, especially when you consider how closely they were scrutinized. Other presidential children have not fared so well. As The New York Times pointed out, Chelsea Clinton was picked on by the press for her freckles and frizzy hair, while Barbara and Jenna Bush were always in the tabloids for their party antics.
Focus on values
The Obamas kept Malia and Sasha grounded by focusing on their values. The girls weren’t allowed to have their own cell phones until they were 12 years old. And they could only use computers and watch TV for homework during the week. They also had to do simple chores like making their own beds and cleaning their own rooms. Malia also had to learn how to do her own laundry before leaving for college. According to Parent Herald, family dinners were also an emphasized family tradition.
“No matter what’s going on, at 6:30 p.m. we stop everything and have dinner together as a family,” Michelle told Parenting. “It creates good teaching moments, when something that might otherwise sound like a lecture becomes a nice conversation around the dinner table.”
The Trumps sure have big shoes to fill.
READ: Michelle Obama at Democratic National Convention: “We as parents are the most important role model.”