Michelle Obama’s Letter to Parents

In the wake of the attempted assassination of Arizona Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, many have asked what drives a person to open fire on a peacefully assembled crowd and what something like this says about the United States.  For children these questions can be particularly confusing and difficult.  To help cope, first lady Michelle Obama released an open letter to parents across the United States yesterday offering ways to talk to children about the heartbreaking events in Arizona and lessons we can all take away from the tragedy. 

“In the days and weeks ahead, as we struggle with these issues ourselves, many of us will find that our children are struggling with them as well.  The questions my daughters have asked are the same ones that many of your children will have – and they don’t lend themselves to easy answers.  But they will provide an opportunity for us as parents to teach some valuable lessons – about the character of our country, about the values we hold dear, and about finding hope at a time when it seems far away.

“We can teach our children that here in America, we embrace each other, and support each other, in times of crisis.  And we can help them do that in their own small way – whether it’s by sending a letter, or saying a prayer, or just keeping the victims and their families in their thoughts.

“We can teach them the value of tolerance – the practice of assuming the best, rather than the worst, about those around us.  We can teach them to give others the benefit of the doubt, particularly those with whom they disagree. 

“We can also teach our children about the tremendous sacrifices made by the men and women who serve our country and by their families.  We can explain to them that although we might not always agree with those who represent us, anyone who enters public life does so because they love their country and want to serve it.” 

Read the full letter.

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About Carlyn Reichel

Carlyn Reichel joins the State Department having recently completed a Master’s degree in public policy. || While writing has long been one of Carlyn’s hobbies, it wasn’t until graduate school that she presumed she had something to say worth sharing – even when she didn’t. She previously worked in public relations and continues to be a political junkie, a history and literature nerd, and a concerned global citizen.

5 thoughts on “Michelle Obama’s Letter to Parents

  1. This is it. I think that this is the best way to overcome such situations. Unwanted incidents have happened in the past and will very well continue in the future, too. But what matters is what you actually take away from them, what you learn from them. The attempted assassination on Gabrielle Giffords has raised disturbing questions for the parents and the children alike, it is a commendable effort on the part of Michelle Obama to release the open letter to the parents across the US. A great sense of leadership, she actually showed what it takes to be the first lady.

  2. Thanks Michelle for letter, its really tell the real true. The Arizona’s Democratic Congresswomen Gabrielle Giffirds’s news was so sad for kids to hear and they really have that feeling of asking parents about what happy and we all how children behave. They always need true otherwise if you don’t tell the true, they will keep asking you ever. parent need to tell our sibling that life is some time difficult to understand if you are a kid but with time when they grow up, they simply get to know how a life really look like.

    All we have to do is to teach our kids how to be tolerance,the practice of assuming the best rather than the worst yea…. and we all do respect one’s altitude as human beings. thanks

  3. I think it is great that we have such wonderful role models in the Pres Obama and First Lady Michelle

  4. Good post=D Going to want a decent amount of time to think over your content.