7 important parenting lessons Barack Obama taught us

SmartParents takes a look at the priceless relationship hacks America’s former commander in chief has given to parents.


During his eight years as commander in chief of the US, President Barack Obama, 56, wasn't only one of the world's most powerful leaders, he has shone as an exemplary husband and a dedicated dad to daughters Sasha, 15, and Malia, 18.

From embarrassing them with corny dad jokes to embracing them every opportunity he gets, Obama has showed us time and time again that even though he is head honcho of the free world, being a dad is number one on his priority list.

And despite growing up in the spotlight, Malia and Sasha have developed into strong and confident women. Indeed, whatever your political views regarding Obama, he’s proven one thing ― this POTUS (President of the United States) has his parenting thing down pat.

We salute the 44th President of the Unites States, a man many look up to, especially since we hope to emulate the example he’s set with his family. We present Obama’s top child-rearing tips… 

Give your spouse credit  

LESSON #1 While he was running the country, the First Lady, Michelle Obama, 54, not only supported him all the way, she also did some heavy lifting with their kids, who were only 7 and 10 when they first moved into The White House. Obama makes sure to credit his significant other every opportunity he gets. He was once quoted as saying, “Obviously, I couldn’t have done anything that I’ve done without Michelle…not only has she been a great First Lady, she is just my rock. I count on her in so many ways every single day.”
KEY TAKEAWAY Parenting is a hard and often thankless job. Even though parents are expected to do their best for their offspring, it’s great to know that one’s spouse appreciates what the other is doing ― especially since the kids often don’t!

Say nice things about your children 

LESSON #2 Too often, especially Asian parents, try not to shower their children with compliments for fear that it may make them complacent, or worse, spoiled and feel entitled. Obama isn’t effusive with his compliments to his daughters, but he is not one to be stingy with praises either. His most notable tribute was made at his final address on 10 January 2017, “Malia and Sasha…you have become two amazing young women, smart and beautiful, but more importantly, kind and thoughtful and full of passion.”
KEY TAKEAWAY While you needn’t make a Facebook announcement every time your child aces a test or takes a dump in the potty, you shouldn’t forget to focus on their positive traits. You’d also feel grateful as it’s a reminder of just whom you are raising. Also, when you say it out loud, it strikes a chord with your kiddos, reminding them what kind of people they are and should continue to be. 

“We pass on the values of empathy and kindness to our children by living them. We need to show our kids that you’re not strong by putting other people down ― you’re strong by lifting them up.”

Model the behaviour you want to see in your children

LESSON #3 During his time in the Oval Office, the former POTUS didn’t just entertain world leaders, but he was also frequently photographed chatting candidly with his staff members, fist-bumping the janitor and fooling around with visiting kids. To instil a sense of service in their kids, the First Family also has an annual tradition of distributing food items every Thanksgiving at a non-for-profit organisation. Obama once said, “We pass on the values of empathy and kindness to our children by living them. We need to show our kids that you’re not strong by putting other people down ― you’re strong by lifting them up. That’s our responsibility as fathers.”
KEY TAKEAWAY If you want your children to grow up to become gracious, humble, respectable and down-to-earth human beings, you have to first show them what that looks like. And don’t forget, words can inspire, too. Remember the former FLOTUS’s (First Lady of the United States) words at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia ― “When they go low, we go high!”