Obama's Executive Order: No Weeknight TV For Sasha and Malia

Filed under: Celeb Kids, Celeb Parents, In The News, Celeb News & Interviews

Despite his hip persona, President Obama does not allow TV on school nights. Credit: Callie Shell, Obama Transition Office/Getty Images


Don't ask Malia and Sasha Obama if they've seen the latest episode of "Hannah Montana" or "Wizards of Waverly Place."

They're forbidden to watch TV. At least during the week.

Their father, the leader of the free world, exercised what many tweens would consider an abuse of executive authority. He decreed no TV during the week. Only weekends.

In an interview in the March issue of Essence magazine, hitting newsstands this week, President Barack Obama says there can be no political debate on this issue.

"The girls don't watch TV during the week. Period," he says.
Other families should consider issuing the same executive order, he adds.

"There's no doubt that Michelle and I have more resources and privileges compared with a lot of parents. We understand that," he says in the interview. "But I don't care how poor you are. You can turn off the television set during the week."

In the interview, according to an advance report by the Associated Press, Obama tells the magazine that Malia, 11, and Sasha, 8, tend to their homework before anything else. If they're not done by dinner -- around 6:30 p.m. -- they must finish their homework before being allowed to read for fun until bedtime.

Sasha's bedtime is 8:30 p.m., the president tells Essence. Malia gets to stay up until 9 p.m.

Obama discussed his no-television policy in response to a question about what parents to can do to promote their children's education. In addition to turning off the TV, Obama says parents can keep in regular contact with their children's teachers.

(The Obamas have never missed a parent-teacher conference, according to the Associated Press.)

Children usually rise to the level of expectation, the president tells the magazine.

"Very early on, we set expectations for Malia and Sasha in terms of them taking responsibility for their own education," he says. They began setting their own alarm clocks at age 4 to wake themselves up, make their own beds and get themselves ready for school.

"We monitor them," he tells Essence, "but they are expected to be prepared to learn when they go to school."

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.