hi, everybody. this father s day weekend, i d like tospend a couple minutes talking about what s sometimes my hardest, but always mymost rewarding job – being a dad.
i grew up without my father around. he left when i was twoyears old, and even though my sister and i were lucky enough to have awonderful mother and caring grandparents to raise us, i felt his absence. and i wonder what my life would have been like had he been a greater presence.
that s why i ve tried so hard to be a good dad for my ownchildren. i haven t always succeeded, of course – in the past, my job haskept me away from home more often than i liked, and the burden of raising twoyoung girls would sometimes fall too heavily on michelle.
but between my own experiences growing up, and my ongoingefforts to be the best father i can be, i ve learned a few things about whatour children need most from their parents.
first, they need our time. and more important thanthe quantity of hours we spend with them is the quality of those hours. maybe it s just asking about their day, or talking a walk together, but thesmallest moments can have the biggest impact.
they also need structure, including learning the values ofself-discipline and responsibility. malia and sasha may live in the white housethese days, but michelle and i still make sure they finish their schoolwork, dotheir chores, and walk the dog.
and above all, children need our unconditional love –whether they succeed or make mistakes; when life is easy and when life istough.
and life is tough for a lot of americans today. moreand more kids grow up without a father figure. others miss a father who saway serving his country in uniform. and even for those dads who a#from represent in their children s lives, the recession has taken a harsh toll. if you re out of a job or struggling to pay the bills, doing whatever it takesto keep the kids healthy, happy and safe can understandably take precedenceover all else.
that s why my administration has offered men who want to begood fathers a little extra support. we ve boostedmunity andfaith-based groups focused on fatherhood, partnered with businesses to offeropportunities for fathers to spend time with their kids at the bowling alley orballpark, and worked with military chaplains to help deployed dads connect withtheir children.
we re doing this because we all have a stake in ingstronger bonds between fathers and their children. and you can find outmore about some of what we re doing at
but we also know that every father has a personalresponsibility to do right by our kids as well. all of us can encourage ourchildren to turn off the video games and pick up a book. all of us canpack a healthy lunch for our son, or go outside and play ball with ourdaughter. and all of us can teach our children the difference betweenright and wrong, and show them through our own example the value in treatingone another as we wish to be treated.
但是，众所周知每个父亲都有个人责任保证孩子正确行事。我们都有责任鼓励孩子关掉游戏机打开书本。我们都有责任给我们的儿子买健康的午餐，或者去户外和我们的女儿踢球。我们都能够告诉孩子什么是对错，并且以身作则告诉孩子 己所不欲，勿施于人 的道理。
our kids are pretty smart. they understand that lifewon t always be perfect, that sometimes, the road gets rough, that even greatparents don t get everything right.
but more than anything, they just want us to be a part oftheir lives.
so recently, i took on a second job: assistant coach forsasha s basketball team. on sundays, we d get the team together topractice, and a couple of times, i d help coach the games. it was a lotof fun – even if sasha rolled her eyes when her dad voiced his displeasure withthe refs.
but i was so proud watching her run up and down the court,seeing her learn and improve and gain confidence.
and i was hopeful that in the years toe, she d look back onexperiences like these as the ones that helped define her as a person – and asa parent herself.
in the end, that s what being a parent isall about – those precious moments with our children that fill us with prideand excitement for their future; the chances we have to set an example or offera piece of advice; the opportunities to just be there and show them that welove them.
that s something worth remembering this father s day, andevery day.
thanks, and happy father s day to all the dads outthere. have a great weekend.