People

The important life lessons that Barack Obama taught his daughters

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Kayleigh Dray
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The Obama family may have moved out of the White House after eight years, but we’ve all found it incredibly difficult to let go.

Which is why, when Barack Obama decided to reveal the vital life advice he’s bestowed upon his daughters, Sasha and Malia, many of us were left feeling… well, more than a little emotional.



Invited to speak at a Q&A with Bill and Melinda Gates for their charity foundation, the former president decided to address his words to the world’s future leaders and innovators.

Taking to the stage, Obama called upon his own hard-earned wisdom in a bid to inspire everyone listening in. And, naturally, everyone’s favourite POTUS made a point of underlining the three big pieces of leadership advice he’s given his teenage daughters over the years.


1) “Being responsible is an enormous privilege”

Obama says that he and his wife, former First Lady Michelle Obama, have tried to impress upon their daughters the importance of being kind, considerate, empathetic and hardworking.

“These are the tools by which you can shape the world around you in a way that feels good,” Obama said, according to People.


2) “There are a lot of different ways to make a difference”

Obama said he understands that Sasha and Malia “will choose to participate in different ways because they’ve got different temperaments, different strengths.”

“You don’t have to go out and lead the protest march,” he said, “and if you are a brilliant engineer, you don’t have to make a speech. You can create an app that allows an amplification or the scaling up of something that is really powerful if you’re someone who likes to care for people.”


3) “Change doesn’t happen overnight”

We can get tired and overwhelmed when our work doesn't bring results, but Obama assured us – and his daughters – that change takes time.

“You have to be persistent,” he said. “We get disappointed and we get frustrated, [which is why] I always tell people that my early work as a community organizer in Chicago taught me an incredible amount, but I didn't set the world on fire.”

Obama isn’t the only member of the former First Family to dish out his own tried-and-tested life advice to the masses. In fact, Michelle recently issued her own rousing cry for women everywhere to come together and set up their own BFF bootcamps.



Taking to Instagram, everyone’s favourite “girl of the South Side” revealed that she, like so many of us, cherishes the relationships she shares with her female friends.

And, over the years, she and her “crew” have always made a point of hanging out in the summer and working out together in the great outdoors.

“When I was at the White House, I often hosted bootcamp weekends for my close girlfriends,” she said.

“It didn’t matter that we were all at varying fitness levels. Our bootcamp weekends were a reminder that if we want to keep taking care of others, we need to take care of ourselves first.”

Obama finished: “Whether it’s a bootcamp or a walk around the neighbourhood, I hope you and your crew can find some time this summer to be healthy together.”

Images: Rex Features