Whether or not you agree with Barack Obama’s policies, there is definitely something to be said for his parenting style. According to a recent article, the Obama family puts a big emphasis on structure, which could only be valuable in as rare a family situation as theirs. Here are some examples of how they roll: 

Sunday is family day. We have the same consensus in my family but considering how hard it can be to coordinate, I can’t even imagine what it’s like for the US President! However it’s a good idea for many reasons. For one, it conveys to your children that family values are important, and that a happy family requires time and effort. It also encourages spending time with one another instead of tucked away in your own room, as well as some time for relaxation before the start of another week.

Dinnertime is a priority. This “rule” places family high up on a scale of importance. It teaches children to be generous in having dinner at a time that suits everyone at home rather than at their own convenience. It promotes conversation, and a knowledge of what is going on in each other’s lives. And surely it helps with developing etiquette and table manners. All good, right?

The girls have to write reports about trips they take. I think this is great, albeit difficult to implement. To start with, it’s an activity that doesn’t require surfing the internet or checking Facebook. But what I really like is that it gives the kids a chance to reflect. This is something that not many kids do these days: rather they move from one form of entertainment to another, losing the opportunity to learn from and appreciate their experiences.

Computer use during the week is only for homework. Television and mobile phones are is reserved for the weekend. This rule definitely imposes structure – work hard during the week, and play hard on the weekend. It’s another hard one to impose but would be worth it, since it teaches kids to live a certain order as well as observe how much more is achieved by acting this way. It’s also character-building, since they learn to wait and not necessarily bow down to their every whim.

Each girl has to play two sports, one they choose and one their mother selects. Whether this is applied to sports or other extracurricular activities, I think it’s a good idea to have your kids develop their different talents. From reading and art to playing an instrument, the child is building skills, keeping busy with something other than their gadgets, and growing in confidence about their abilities. It’s a winning situation!

Tamara El-Rahi is an associate editor of MercatorNet. A Journalism graduate from the University of Technology Sydney, she lives in Australia with her husband and two daughters.