Parents

Barack Obama reveals 3 pieces of leadership advice he's given his daughters

With President Barack Obama’s departure from the White House, some have been missing the parenting lessons that occasionally trickled from the Oval Office.

Thankfully, the former president continues to share some of those lessons on the speaking circuit.

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Former President Barack Obama with his daughters Malia and Sasha in a Washington, D.C., ice cream shop in November 2015.

Following a speech he gave to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Obama revealed three pieces of leadership advice he has given to his daughters, Malia, 19, and Sasha, 16, over the years to help them “shape the world.”

"Being responsible is an enormous privilege”

As his daughters have grown, so have their responsibilities, Obama said.

"When they were small, their responsibilities were small, like, 'say when you want to go potty'," he joked. "As you get older, your responsibilities grow."

The former president said he and his wife have tried to instill the importance of "basic homespun values," mainly kindness, consideration, empathy and hard work.

"These are the tools by which you can shape the world around you in a way that feels good," Obama said. "Part of what we try to communicate is that being responsible is an enormous privilege."

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Obama often brought his daughters to the annual turkey pardoning ceremony every Thanksgiving season.

"There are a lot of different ways to make a contribution."

"You don't have to go out and lead the protest march," Obama said.

Instead, he has urged his daughters to take advantage of their individual temperaments and strengths.

"If you are a brilliant engineer, you don't have to make a speech," Obama said. "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."

“There are a lot of different ways to make a contribution and I try to emphasize that to them as well."

Change takes time.

People anxious to make an impact upon the world often get impatient because change rarely happens overnight, Obama said.

"You have to be persistent," he said.

“We get disappointed and we get frustrated. 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.”

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