President Obama shared some parenting advice in a recent town hall event with members of the military, reminding them to listen to their wives.
“The best advice that I probably can offer is for me, at least, I just do what Michelle tells me to do and it seems to work out,” Obama explained in response to a question from a military mom, a C-17 instructor pilot who asked him how he raises his children in spite of his busy life as president.
Obama explained that both he and Michelle Obama think structure and discipline are important parts of raising children.
“We’re a strong believer in structure and rules, and unconditional love but being pretty firm, too,” he said. “We started real early.”
He pointed to strict bedtime rules, and rules on watching television and eating vegetables.
“You’ll sit there and eat your vegetables even if we have to sit there with you, watch you chew for 10 minutes and we’re going to watch you swallow,” he said, giving the audience a window in their parenting efforts.
On a more serious note, Obama pointed out that “loving those kids to death” was important as well as showing Sasha and Malia that they weren’t there to be their friends, but parents.
“They’re getting old enough now where sometimes they appreciate it — mainly because they also know that we just — we adore them,” Obama explained.
Obama lamented that since his daughters were getting older, he had become “less interesting” to them. He added, however, that family mealtime was important in the Obama household, allowing them to spend time together away from distractions.
“I’m a big believer in not getting the TV trays out and watching the Kardashians,” he said. “You sit down, leave your cell phone somewhere else, and we’ll have a conversation.”
He admitted that most of the rules were actually from the First Lady, and gave her the credit.
“That’s all, by the way, me just channeling Michelle,” he said. “Like I said, the main thing for your husband to do is just listen to you.”