Imagine that your mom or dad is the leader of the free world. Not only is that hard to fathom, but that entails an enormous amount of pressure to look like a model citizen 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Being the child of the president is a full-time job in that of itself. You have to always look presentable, smile for the cameras, never use vulgar language and act graciously at all times even when you just had the worst day of your life. The kicker is that you didn't sign up for this, you just inherited it whether you like it or not.
The experience is enough for you to write a book about your life and then retire off of the profits that you make from that. All jokes aside, being a child growing up in the White House can't be a walk in the park. Most of us will only remember the times from the Clinton Administration up until today with the Trump Administration. No matter what your political affiliations might be, each of the kids that grew up in the White House shares the solidarity of knowing what it's like to grow up in there.
Here are the 15 strict expectations that the kids in the White House must adhere to.
15 They Aren't Allowed To Have Social Media Accounts
It makes sense how this rule applies, although it is hard for most of us to imagine a life without Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Though former first children have their social media accounts intact, they cannot have any social media accounts while one of their parents is the president. Not only is it for their own protection, but it is to protect the image of their parents more or less. Kids are known to get out of hand on social media and the first children are no exception to that possibility. The last thing that a president would ever want is for their kid to say something stupid or damaging on their social media. It has been known to happen among kids and teenagers so it's just better to avoid that risk altogether.
14 The First Children Usually Attend Private School
Most US Presidents sent their children to private schools. This isn't much of a surprise and it would be shocking to hear of one of them being sent to a public school. In fact, Melania Trump delayed her and Barron moving into the White House right away so that he could finish his year at the New York private school that he was attending. In part, the decision for presidents to send their kids to private schools likely an issue of the ease of security services at a small private school versus a public school. Secret service members monitor not just the president, but their families as well. This makes sense on a practical as well as a social status type of level. Plus, DC public school aren't known for having the best quality of education, according to Business Insider.
13 They Aren't (Typically) Supposed To Work For The Administration
When children of the White House start to work for the administration or take on formal roles, it would have many people thinking that this is a classic case of nepotism. This should be a no-brainer. If you have ever heard that doctors are not supposed to operate on their own family members, there is a reason for it. It mixes business with your personal life, and that is something that is to be avoided at all costs. Recently, there have been some bending of this unspoken, unofficial rule (although it is not illegal per se). President Trump has broken that tradition with the appointment of his daughter Ivanka Trump as assistant to the president and his son-in-law Jared Kushner as senior advisor to the president.
12 They Can't Drive A Car On A Public Road
US Presidents and their family members lose driving privileges the moment that they become president. This rule is even recommended for many other politicians in high power such as Vice Presidents, Senators, Congressmen, etc. This is a security measure that was meant to protect our leaders and their families. The threat to top US officials is ever-present, and the agents who squire current and former presidents are trained in evasive and defensive driving maneuvers. The only way that the first children can really get their hands on a wheel is if it's around a golf course for recreation or at some off-road excursion on private property. Even then, they have to be under the supervision of the Secret Service at all times. Imagine how sucky that would be being 15-16 years old during the White House years and being unable to practice getting your license.
11 The First Lady And Children Typically Live In The White House With The President
Family units are expected to stick together, White House or not. It is pretty unheard of for families to be living separately from the parent that just became President of the United States. This isn't just a lifestyle adjustment that the new president has to make but the whole family needs to become accustomed to the new lifestyle. The first children often have to leave their friends in other states behind in order to move to Washington, DC. Just like any other kid, the first children typically don't want to leave their friends especially if they are junior high to high school age. At least they get to say that their dad is the president and that they get to live in the White House, which is monumental.
10 The Whole Family Attends The Inauguration
Events such as staying up at all hours of the night finding out whether or not your dad has become president has got to be nerve-racking...and tiring. Elections and the events that come with them are all-day and all-week affairs on the campaign trails. Even when it is all said and done, you still have to stick around for the inauguration festivities. Barron Trump always had this look on his face like he is tired or just has something better to do. Maybe he just wants to hang out in his room and play video games while the grown-ups do all the grown-up stuff. Come on, kid. Your dad just became president. Can you at least pretend to be happy for him this one time?
9 The Obama Girls Still Had To Do Chores
Barack and Michelle ran a tight ship in their household. Moving into the White House didn't put a hindrance to the working ethics that they instilled into Malia and Sasha. “I’m not a softie,” Obama said during the ABC interview, in which he said that his wife could certainly “holler at them a little bit.” The Obama girls still had to do chores around the White House like sweeping the floors and cleaning the dishes. Barack and Michelle wanted to make sure that their daughters didn't grow up spoiled or having a feeling of entitlement. However, Obama was a modern-day dad who still prided himself on reading all 7 Harry Potter books and reading them aloud to his girls. Now that is just simply adorable.
8 They Also Weren't Allowed To Watch TV During The Week
Michelle Obama definitely restricted the girls when it came to television. Unless it was something educational like the Discovery Channel, their television viewing time was limited to only watching it on the weekends. While the girls were growing up, it was reported that their favorite shows were Hannah Montana, American Idol, and Cheetah Girls. They had a bedtime at 8 pm every night and had to set their alarm clocks for school the next morning. Before getting ready for school, they each had to make their bed and keep their rooms clean. It looks like the Obamas were big on building character for their daughters. It is refreshing to hear that some first children get the same discipline we did growing up.
7 The First Family Needs To Bring All Their Belongings To The White House Themselves
Yep, you heard that right. When the first family has to move into the White House, they are responsible for all of the moving expenses that come with it. You would think that the government would provide some assistance from taxpayer dollars, but nope. Granted, to be the President of the United States, you have to have wealth in the first place. Therefore, it's doubtful that the finances to move into the White House are really a problem. The official move-in cannot start until noon on Inauguration Day at the earliest. The move also happens fast in a 12-hour time frame that is comparable to a military maneuver. Once the president elect's and their families belongings arrive, the residence staff takes custody of the possessions and begins unpacking.
6 They Must Always Be Accompanied By Secret Service
This one is a no-brainer. The children that inhabit the White House cannot go anywhere without a Secret Service escort. This one is for their own safety and protection. What is interesting about the Trump Administration is that even his full grown adult children need to be accompanied by the Secret Service, and they don't even technically live in the White House (only Barron Trump does). So this means that Donald Jr. Ivanka and Eric Trump all need that protection as well. The United States Secret Service provides 24/7 protection for the wives and kids of the U.S. president and vice president, including their adult children. What is crazy is that the U.S. taxpayer dollars go towards the bodyguards' airfare, hotel rooms, and meals. Having a big family in the White House is expensive for the American public apparently.
5 They Can't Open Any Windows
Yes, the first family cannot open any windows not in the White House nor in the car. There is much isolation that comes with the territory of being the child of the president. The car windows are darkly tinted to ensure that you are incognito and that people can't make out your face as clearly when you are out in public. Furthermore, the windows of the White House must be covered so that no one can see you from the outside. If you think about it, the White House is a big tourist attraction in Washington DC, so it makes sense that windows are required to be closed at all times. In fact, one of Michelle Obama's post-White House dream was to be able to finally open windows again.
4 They Must Respect The History Inside The White House
Living in the White House is like living in a museum. In other words, there is a lot of "don't touch" stuff everywhere because it needs to be preserved. While most parents have to childproof homes so that the living environment accommodates the needs of their children, it is the other way around for kids growing up in the White House. There are certain rooms that they are not allowed to go in, and running around and being reckless is a big no-no. The younger they are, the more that they are watched under strict supervision. There are many paintings, furniture, and monumental pieces of history in the White House that can't be damaged. The first children are taught very early on that they need to respect that.
3 The First Family Always Stays At The Blair House
The Blair House is actually located across the street from the White House. It is so big that it has expanded the entire block that it inhabits. The first family doesn't literally live inside the White House, but the Blair House. Much like the White House, it contains historical timepieces and the interior design looks like is straight out of the Old World. Not only is the Blair House where the first family inhabits, but it is where the president houses international diplomat guests. It is the tradition for presidents to stay at the historic DC property the night before they are sworn into office. The house is owned by the State Department. Ivanka Trump and her family shared this photo inside the guesthouse of the Blair House estate.
2 They Spend A Lot Of Time At Camp David
Camp David is considered the President's Retreat where all US Presidents are supposed to go when the pressures of running the free world become too burdensome. The exact location of Camp David is kept hidden from the public for intents and purposes. This is one special privilege of being a child growing up in the White House. You are in on this secret that is kept strictly confidential from the rest of the world. While we know Camp David resides "somewhere within Catoctin Mountain Park in Maryland," maps are not allowed to show the camp's exact location due to safety concerns. This is kind of like Area 51 where only authorized personnel are allowed on the premise. Conspiracy theorists can only wonder what really goes on there.
1 Interior Design Decorations Can Only Occur On The 2nd and 3rd Floors, So They're Not Free To Leave Their Toys Or Run Around Anywhere
First ladies get the special privilege of redecorating the White House according to their personal tastes, but they are limited to only a few floors. The changes can only take place on the 2nd and 3rd floors. The same limits apply to the first children since there are timepieces in the White House that need to remain untouched in order to preserve the history. The first family is allowed to decorate the White House according to their style, but rooms like the Lincoln Room and Yellow Room are off-limits. In fact, it is rumored that the Lincoln Room is haunted. You wouldn't want to mess with that room regardless of fear of the new interior design not lining up with the ghost's tastes. All jokes aside, even the first family has rules they must abide by.
Sources: Business Insider, New York Times, Elle Decor, Daily Mail, Thrillist