First Kid

Today on the Hallmark Channel featured the movie “First Daughter” starring Katie Holmes (Samantha MacKenzie/Daughter to the President) and Michael Keaton (President). Though an old movie (2004)..I had never watched it in previous times. But being a good time as any, I curled up on the couch with my refreshments: a can of Pringles and a cold Pepsi. Besides anyone who says you CAN watch a movie without a snack to devour and a beverage to wash it down is “abnormal” in my book. (Unless it’s medically impossible) I digress.


So the movie didn’t disappoint. Basically, it is a small look at a high profile life with spectators at every whim and security detail surrounding her every move. Samantha was permitted to go and live in a dorm at college…provided a few of the Secret Service could tag along for safety measures. Unbeknownst to her, she befriends a fellow college student (actor Mark Blucas) who just happens to be an undercover Secret Service Agent. I won’t ruin the ending. I was surprised the movie received low marks by critics. I liked it and rarely do I ever side with movie reviews anyway. Just saying…

A much older film (1996) “First Kid” starring Brock Pierce (Luke Davenport/son of the President) and Sinbad (Secret Service Agent Sam Simms) is one I thoroughly enjoyed. It is a comical family movie which takes its viewers on a ride of silly antics of a bored brat. Luke continually tries to ditch his Secret Service detail. When his first detail Agent Woods (actor Timothy Busfield) is fed up and quits, Agent Simms is assigned to protect the President’s son. A wonderful movie with an important message about trust.

In real life, aka R-E-A-L-I-T-Y, all children must have boundaries to some extent. You have seen children running amuck and their parents/caregivers oblivious to the shrieks of carts screeching and kids screaming with reckless abandon. I am somewhat paralyzed with fear for the elderly shoppers in Walmart…afraid they will get knocked down and break bones. Where are the parents/caregivers???? Texting on their cellphones, joking around in the make-up aisle (it’s important to look one’s best, right???), or putzing around in the parking lot. You know what I mean. You’ve witnessed it, haven’t you?

Too many parents/caregivers would much rather be “best friends” to their children than teach their children to respect others and respect themselves. And society wonders why there are so many criminals and problems in this world. Children must have good role models to follow and it should begin at home. Period!

Parenting And believe me, I SMILE when I see young children hold open the door for others and say “please” and “thank you” joyfully. I make it a point to tell the parent/caregiver I appreciate seeing manners. “You’ve taught him/her/them well! Keep up the great work!” I noticed a young mother continuing to tell her little girl “no” after repeated begging for yogurt. She stayed calm as her daughter broke into tears. I walked up to her and smiled, “You are doing an amazing job, Mom! Keep up the good work!” She dabbed the sweat from her brow. “Thanks! I’ve never gotten a compliment on my parenting before. I want to train her up right. I realize I have just begun teaching Monique. She is 2 1/2, but she’s not too young to learn from instruction.”


A few days ago I witnessed a father showing his son how to open doors for people. “Now, Jake. Open the door and hold it. Make sure you stand back, so this lady won’t trip over your shoes! Great job!” His son beamed with pride! “I did it, Dad! I held it just like you!” His father gave him a high five.

You know excellent parenting when you see it. And when you see the fruits of their labor paying off, don’t be shy to congratulate them! Tell them so! Remember children will learn from their role models, good or bad. Make time daily to spend with them and get to know their interests. Be informed and don’t be afraid to set boundaries. They will thank you one day! Of that, I am sure!


Have a blessed Sunday!


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