Wednesday, July 22, 2009

President Obama thoughts of being a father...

I read this on and I like to share it with you guys. Its President Obama's thoughts on what it meant to be a father. Good advice...

The President's thoughts on...

On the pressure to be perfect.
...I've made mistakes as a parent, and I'm sure I will make plenty more. There have been days when the demands of work have taken me from my duties as a father and I’ve missed some moments in my daughters’ lives that I’ll never get back. So I’ve been far from perfect.

But in the end, it’s not about being perfect. It’s not always about succeeding; but it’s about always trying. And that's something everybody can do. It’s about showing up and sticking with it; and going back at it when you mess up; and letting your kids know -- not just with words, but with deeds -- that you love them and that you're always -- they're always your first priority.
On the influence a father has.
A lot of folks know I love playing basketball. But it was my father who gave me my first basketball. Even though he wasn't a part of my life, in the few weeks that I was with him, he gave me a basketball...A lot of folks know I love jazz. It turns out he took me to my first jazz concert. I didn't remember this until later on in life, but just that imprint is powerful. And imagine if that's sustained every day. And especially, young men, when they hit the teenage years, to have somebody there who is there to steady them and to provide them with some guidance, that makes all the difference in the world.
On 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.
On 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.
On 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.
On getting the skills you need and making a difference.
I’ve made my share of mistakes; I've had to ask a lot of questions.But I've also learned from men that I admire.

And we need dads -- but also men who aren’t dads -- to make this kind of commitment not just in their own homes to their own families, but to the many young people out there who aren’t lucky enough to have responsible adults in their lives. We need committed, compassionate men to serve as mentors and tutors, and big brothers and foster parents. Even if it’s just for a couple hours a week of shooting hoops, or helping with homework, or just talking about what’s going on in that young person's life. Even the smallest moments can end up having an enormous impact, a lasting impact on a child’s life.

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