I voted for Senator Kirsten Gillibrand last November, but only after reading our cover interview with her do I feel like I have a real sense of her, both as a person and politician. It didn’t surprise me to discover that she is impressive, but I was surprised by what impressed me. Her high standards and high hopes—things that presumably make her an effective and committed lawmaker—also seem to permeate her parenting. To put it plainly, she seems like a really great mom.
Recently, I wrote a post on New York Family’s blog about how First Lady Michelle Obama has inspired me to take a tougher line on my son’s weekend activities. She allows her daughters to pick one of their extracurricular activities while reserving the right to pick one herself. This way, she allows them to make important choices for themselves and ensures that they also stay focused on activities she considers positive and productive.
Now I have the Senator to look to for parenting inspiration as well! Where to begin? The low-hanging fruit would be the fact that Sen. Gillibrand’s children, ages 4 and 9, apparently eat lots of fruits and vegetables. But the moment in our interview that really resonates with me is when she speaks of her children as “joy-producers” and how much she likes watching them “develop into who they’re going to be as adults.”
Corny as this may sound, I also love that she encourages them “[to] use positive words.” Their words are a direct link to their attitudes, and helping children approach the world with a positive attitude is one of the greatest gifts a parent can provide. I’m often challenging my kids—my 8-year-old son especially—to take a step back and view an upsetting situation in a more balanced way.
I’m sure you don’t fault me for going on a bit about having Senator Gillibrand as our cover subject this month. But once you finish reading the interview, I do hope you’ll take a long, slow lap through the rest of the issue and discover all the good ideas we’ve put together on birthday parties, hospitals, real estate, nursery shopping, and much more.
Have A Happy March,