MELANIA’S MONDAY BEST: First Lady Melania Trump rolled out her new “Be Best” awareness campaign Monday afternoon, which is dedicated to “the most valuable and fragile among us — our children.”
With “too many issues facing children today,” the initiative’s three pillars are well-being, social media use and opiod abuse. “Together I believe we need to provide children with the tools to cultivate their social and emotional health. We can and should teach children the importance of social and self-awareness, positive relationship skills and positive decision-making,” Trump said, adding that “these skills will foster positive feelings about mutual respect, compassion and self-esteem.”
She singled out the Pennsylvania student Christian Bucks, who in second grade created the “Buddy Bench” to help classmates become friends during recess. Now one can be found in 50 states, she said. FLOTUS also spoke of the importance of responsible social media behavior, and her visit in the fall to Lily’s Place, a West Virginia nonprofit that helps families dealing with addiction.
Wearing a white pencil skirt, white stilettos and a fitted, belted caramel-colored jacket, she welcomed the Rose Garden crowd and said, “As a mother and First Lady, it concerns me that in today’s fast-paced and ever-connected word, children can be less prepared to express or manage their emotions. And oftentimes turn to forms of destructive or addictive behavior such as bullying and drug addiction or even suicide. I feel strongly that as adults we can and should be best at educating our children about the importance of a healthy and balanced life.”
The goal is to educate children about the many issues they are facing in order to help them become “happy and productive members of society,” Trump continued. “At the same time, children deserve every opportunity to enjoy their innocence. Every child should know it is safe to make mistakes, and that there are supportive adults and friends nearby to catch them if they fall. We also should be mindful that they should learn to trust in themselves and their own emotions. Let us teach children all aspects of their emotional well-being, which includes social, emotional and physical health.”
In closing, she thanked cabinet secretaries in attendance, as well as representatives from Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Snap, Amazon, the National Safety Council and more. FLOTUS vowed to keep speaking with tech leaders about children’s online habits and raising awareness of positive behaviors. The President, Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen also received shout-outs. Promising to “make every effort to be best at championing the many successful well-being programs in existence today and teach the tools and skills for emotional, social and physical well-being,” Trump said she planned to shine a spotlight on the various groups helping children and to work with groups that are fighting drug addiction.
“I will continue to travel and speak with children directly about both their victories and difficult realities that they face.…Together let’s encourage children to dream big, think big and do all they can to be best in everything they do,” she said.
Afterwards, President Trump took over the podium for a few minutes and signed a proclamation making May 7 “Be Best” day. He did not tweet about it.