Michelle Obama on Sasha & Malia Growing Up: 'They're Conditioning Us for Empty Nest Syndrome'

by Raphael Chestang 1:56 PM PDT, May 01, 2015
Playing Michelle Obama on Sasha & Malia Growing Up: 'They're Conditioning Us for Empty Nest Syndrome'

First Lady Michelle Obama was in Detroit on Friday in honor of National College Signing Day, where ET's Kevin Frazier reminded her that Malia and Sasha are also quickly approaching college age.

While the first lady admits that she and President Barack Obama will miss their daughters when they go off to school, she told Kevin that Malia, 16, and Sasha, 13, are helping wean their parents off of them.

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"We're the last people our kids want to be with," Obama said. "I think they're conditioning us for that empty nest syndrome, but we're not relishing that at all. We don't know what we're going to do. I got to get him some more hobbies."

But even when their kids are away, mom and dad could be closer than they think.

"I threaten them that I'm going to buy an apartment near their campus and visit and sit in their classes, but that's an idle threat," Obama said. "Barack and I take great joy in embarrassing our children. We threaten them. Sometimes when you see me whispering to them in a crowd I'm saying, 'Sit up or I'm going to embarrass you. I'm going to start dancing,' and it's 'No, mom. Please don't. Stop!' But we get that. Our kids are as humiliated by us as the next. They take it in good stride."

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Obama has been encouraging children all over the country to pursue higher education, and there's no one who's had the message ingrained into their minds more than her own children.

"I've spent their lives raising them to be independent, confident young women who are ready to build great lives for themselves, and education has always been at the foundation of the messages we have in our household," Obama said. "Even though Barack and I didn't have the resources, college was a part of that independence."

If Sasha and Malia are anxious to see what the future holds for them, Obama is even more excited to see where their promising college careers lead.

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"I'm going to be happy to see them thriving on campus work study jobs, traveling and having all these wonderful independent experiences that are going to make them phenomenal people," Obama said.

Obama shared her college story at Wayne State University in Detroit in front of 2,000 high school students whom she encouraged to enroll and graduate from a higher education institution as a part of her Reach Higher initiative.