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President Obama's Thoughts on Fatherhood

Posted by Fatherhood Admin

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Jun 24, 2009
As Roland mentioned in his last post, last Friday President Obama hosted a town hall to discuss the role of dads.

He said some pretty interesting/encouraging things that I think all dads can relate to...including thoughts on obsessively watching Sports Center. Here are some of his most relevant comments: (You can read about the whole event at the White House's blog.)

The sacrifices fathers make.
And what it does mean is, is that fathers sometimes have to give up stuff that they'd like to do instead, like just sit there and watch Sportscenter....I like watching the highlights -- but sometimes instead of watching the third, fourth, fifth time Sportscenter, I just watch it once so that I can then spend time with the girls -- because they don't like watching basketball that much.

[Being a father] isn't an obligation. This is a privilege to be a father.

Gaining your kids' respect.
...You can't use anything as an excuse not to be involved with your children. Because kids -- they won't judge you based on whether you're wealthy or poor. They will judge you if you are abusive to their mother. They will judge you in terms of you not showing up when they need you. That's what makes a difference. And kids will respect their fathers if their fathers are showing kindness and are modeling -- that they're working hard and trying to do what's right for their families.

Balancing work and family and deciding to run for President.
...This was a joint decision -- was could our family handle it? And frankly, if it hadn't been for Michelle's extraordinary strength and commitment, I could not have done it and would not have done it. Now, I want to emphasize we are luckier than most; we've got more resources than most...but it was still a very difficult decision.

The person who suffered the most was me, because I would be calling from God knows where and they'd be having fun and laughing and kids don't talk on the phone that well. So I'd be, "Sasha, how was your day?" "Fine." "What did you do?" "Nothing." You guys have had those conversations.

You can read more in today's Dad E-mail.

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