Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Loving Home

The selection of Marian Robinson as First Grandmother flew under the radar of many, but may reveal more of President-elect Obama's mindset and values than any of his other cabinet or administrative choices.

Rather than the view of the dominant culture that the mother-in-law is a nuisance, in our history, extended family has promoted our survival in hostile or complex environments. Particularly, the raising of children has been a communal responsibility as we have always understood that "it takes a village." In recent years this family perspective has become fractionalized as we have become a collection of individuals at the expense of the caring community that has been our strength.

Marian Robinson, the mother of First Lady-elect Michelle Obama, by moving into the White House to care for Malia, 10 and Sasha, 7 as their parents attempt to run a nation as well as a household means reviewing our child-rearing practices as part of reclaiming our family values.

It also means the following:

Parenting in the 21st century is a complex issue, indicating the need to adapt or for creativity in providing safety, care, and discipline to ensure emotionally healthy children.

The days of saying children should be "seen and not heard" should be replaced by a new refrain that states "Children are Important" and raising them requires a plan and not leaving their future to chance.

The first task of the village or extended family is to provide a place of learning, love, wisdom, understanding, and comfort. When peace and harmony are added, that is home.

Not where I was born, but where it goes well with me is my home.
Kanuri Proverb


pjazzypar said...

What a grandma! I am telling you the truth there is nothing like the home training that you receive from a strong African American woman. I applaud Ms. Robinson.

Hagar's Daughter said...

You're right, no one talked much about Mrs. Robinson. It's a blessing that she will continue to have an active part in the girls' lives.

A grandma's love can go a long way when you're living in a "fish bowl." As a preacher's kid and grandkid, my grandmothers were an important equalizer, stabilizer, and "normalizer" for my siblings and me.

Thanks Rev for honoring my blog. I'm going to post it as soon as I'm able to. I'm still not getting great connection with my wireless internet. I'm blogging while working.

Blog Queen said...

I think it's a wonderful idea. Having Grandma in the "house" to keep the girls grounded and to help foster a sense of normalcy for them is parenting at it's best. Michelle also wants them to have "chores"...can u believe it? Chores in the White House

jjbrock said...

Happy Thanksgiving and what a great post. I agree extended families are important to our culture. I love the idea that she is welcome with open arms.

MacDaddy said...

Right Rev: Fascinating perspective on the extended family. True too.

I got you linked at

SjP said...

I am very happy that Mrs. Robinson will be joining the Obama's in the White House. It will be very important for the girls to be grounded and have some level of a normal life. And Lord knows can't NOBODY do that like a grandmother!

Revvy Rev said...

Yeah, g-ma, big momma, etc. know how to keep it real. "Make up those beds, clean up that room, let's get that homework, and act like a lady!"
For sho'! said...

Hi Pastor,

I think it is wonderful that Ma'Dear is going to be in the White House running "thangs"! (smiles)

I won't be surprised if some of those cooks start getting their pink slips sometime in February!! *smirk*

Did you see the election night photo where Barack was sitting on the couch on one end and his mother-in-law was seated at the other end and they were holding hands and looking at the television as the results flashed on the screen? It was just so touching.

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!

Revvy Rev said...

Yes Lisa, I forgot about the cooking. Mrs. Robinson will probably be holding court with them in the kitchen showing them how to really thro' down, teaching them stuff they don't teach you in culinary school.