“If we still have this crazy bar for each other that we don’t have for men, then we need to have that conversation with ourselves as women.” Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama dished out several important truth at the 2018 United State of Women Summit in Los Angeles. Interviewed by Hollywood actress, Tracee Ellis Ross, she addressed some key lessons that parents, fathers, woman and even children ought to learn.

Here are the highlights of the key points of the conversation:

For Parents

– Parents should start teaching their young children how to have a voice by listening, asking their child questions and hearing their opinions. They shouldn’t be rude but should be allowed to express themselves.

– When you get nervous, you can sometimes get another try, absolutely. We also all learn from our mistakes.

For fathers.

– It is important for a young woman to have a man in her life – who adores her and treats her like an equal. Treat her equally with the male child.

– Little kids remember all these good points of input, but they remember the bad too. Kids know when they’re being invested in, they know when people believe or care about them. But kids also know when they’re not being invested in OR when they’re labeled a bad kid early, or when somebody doesn’t give them a break, or when they’re in a bad school. Kids know. And that’s what parents lose sight of, they feel, “Oh, they’re just kids.” But they know when someone cares about them, think highly of them or doesn’t give a crap about them.

For Children

– All it takes is one good person – find those good folks who see the good part of you, who believes in that thing in you. When you do, stay in their faces, make yourself their priority. But before then, get your stuff together, believe the voice that you know, the one within you. Trust that part of yourself, trust your instincts. When you know you are smart, find that person who sees all that in you.

– When you hang out with people (either folks or friends) who you know aren’t going the right way, you’ve got to go the other way. Surround yourself with the people you want to be.

– Life is practice; you’re practicing who you’re going to be. If you’re lazy or don’t do your assignments, that’s who you’ll turn out to be. If you’re a whiner, you’re practicing being a whiner. Practice who you want to be – if you want to be dependable, then practice it. If you want people to trust you, then be trustworthy. You have to start those habits early and everyday.

For Women.

– If we as women are still suspicious of one another, if we still have this crazy bar for each other that we don’t have for men. If we’re still doing that today, if we’re not comfortable with the notion that women can be our president  then we need to have that conversation with ourselves as women.

– The problem is we still teach our girls to be perfect, to pray and hope for that Prince Charming to deep them off their feet. I wish that girls could fail as bad as men do and be okay.

– If we want our daughters to dream bigger than we did, then we have more work to do. So many of us have gotten ourselves at the table, but we’re too grateful to be at the table to really shake it up. We have to take risks for our girls and not be scared of losing a lot of something.

For everyone.

– To make a change, start with what you can control, which is you.

– It’s not ‘yes, you can’, it is “yes, we can” we are all the answers to problems – all of us. It is not finding the one right person who we think can save us from ourselves, it’s us. We’ve got to do the work internally, first, by figuring what we can do in our lives, what we can do to empower the girls in our lives to have a voice. The biggest impact a woman can have is on her children.

– You can’t give other people their voices; people have to decide and dig way deep down, inside ourselves and decide what fights we’re willing to fight for ourselves, our kids and to take that action, start small – like speaking up for your kids at school, going to your workplace and doing whatever you can, short of getting fired. It also starts with what you discuss on your dinner table.

– Change starts close to home.

– You don’t have to become First Lady, president or run for anything to have a significant impact or to make the changes that were looking for.

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