Growing up in the White House may not be a normal experience for adolescents in most accounts. Most of us don’t spend the night before our first day of school on stage at the Democratic National Convention. Many of us won’t spend holidays and birthdays with dignitaries and royalty from across the globe. And most certainly, many of us don’t have parents, or are parents, who crack the whip when it comes to technology use.
The presidential parents though are as tough as they come, only letting Malia and Sasha — 14 and 11 years old respectively — use technology on weekends, The New York Times reports. Malia’s mobile phone use is restricted to weekends as well. During the week, computers may only be brought out for homework use. And forget about trying to watch television on a weekday.
These rules may seem unimaginable for a society that sees children growing up with iPads. Michelle and Barack Obama’s unrelenting restrictions on their daughters’ access to technology may be more about shielding them from the harsh glare of the political spotlight more than anything – after all, it’s much harder to see the negative feedback about your parents if you aren’t constantly on Twitter.
But nonetheless, the First Couple could be on to something. Honing in on mobile phone and computer use now could rein in a technology addiction later, and even force children to experience a more connected and less plugged in childhood — even if you live in the White House.
What do you think of the Obamas’ rules? Do you have similar rules in your house? Or do you think children should be able to learn and adapt to technology at an early age? Share your thoughts in the comments below.