Obama wants to give Sasha, Malia, “space to make mistakes”

SHARE Obama wants to give Sasha, Malia, “space to make mistakes”
SHARE Obama wants to give Sasha, Malia, “space to make mistakes”

WASHINGTON–President Obama tells ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on Monday he worries about how to give daughters Sasha and Malia their “space” to grow up and make mistakes–even though there is a security detail with them all the time.

Said Obama, “They– they– they don’t– they don’t– they know who their daddy is. And– and they’re not worried about that. The thing I do worry about is trying to figure out that balance of making sure they’ve got space to make mistakes, be teenagers, et cetera. But obviously, they’re not– typical– in some ways. So they’re still having sleepovers. And they’re still going to the mall. And they’re still going to movies. But they’ve got this guy with a gun following them around! And– and– and so just– just trying to make sure that that space is maintained. We’ve been able to do it so far. Our secret service detail is terrific about it. But it– it’s a balance that has to be struck.”

below, from ABC….

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: And you’re not going to tell it’s how long it’s going to take? (LAUGH) Let me just finish up with a couple personal questions. We got a lot of those– on Yahoo, as well. A lot of people want to know– first of all, I should say happy anniversary.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Thank you so much. 19 years.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: 19 years. And they want to know what is the best single piece of advice Michelle has given you?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: You know, that when all is said and done– the mark of success is do you have children who are happy and healthy and– able to go out there and function as responsible– loving people. And– so far so good. You know, I– I think in– in this business– as is true for a lot of professionals, I think– you love your kids, but you always got these distractions and they’re always– things tugging at you. And Michelle very early on– being that anchor that says, “No, no, you know, if we’ve got– a parent/teacher conference–”

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: You’re gonna be there.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: “–we’re gonna be there.” At soccer games. You know, Sasha may say it doesn’t matter, but it does. That steady drumbeat– from Michelle– was exactly right. And– it– it’s– it’s part of the reason why, I think– not only are the kids doing well, but– it– it provides me– just a constant source of joy and– and sustenance.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Four years is a long time in kids’ years.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Yeah.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: They were pretty little during the– the last campaign. How do you protect them? This time around, when everybody’s saying all these bad things about you?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: You know, so far so good. I mean, partly because– they don’t watch– they don’t watch news. Although, the– you know, they’re starting to read.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: On the internet, right?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: They– they’re starting to go on the internet. I think that the thing we worry about has less to do with– them hearing folks say mean stuff about me, which–

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: They don’t have to answer them.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: They– they– they don’t– they don’t– they know who their daddy is. And– and they’re not worried about that. The thing I do worry about is trying to figure out that balance of making sure they’ve got space to make mistakes, be teenagers, et cetera. But obviously, they’re not– typical– in some ways. So they’re still having sleepovers. And they’re still going to the mall. And they’re still going to movies. But they’ve got this guy with a gun following them around! And– and– and so just– just trying to make sure that that space is maintained. We’ve been able to do it so far. Our secret service detail is terrific about it. But it– it’s a balance that has to be struck.

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