Tattoo parenting, Obama-style
April 24th, 2013
12:12 PM ET
2 years ago

Tattoo parenting, Obama-style

(CNN) - President Barack Obama says he and the first lady have a good strategy to prevent their daughters from getting tattoos.

"What we've said to the girls is, if you guys ever decide to get a tattoo, then mommy and me will get the exact same tattoo in the same place. And we'll go on YouTube and show it off as a family tattoo," he said in an interview that aired Wednesday on NBC's "Today."

He said his daughters, Sasha and Malia, have kept him "posted on what's cool and what's not," but argued he and Michelle know how to make things look not so cool.

Their tattoo threat, for example, is a good tactic to "dissuade them from thinking that that's somehow a good way to rebel," he said.

The president also answered a question about the first lady's recent slip-up in which she described herself a "single mother" during a television interview earlier this month.

"As somebody who has stumbled over my lines many times, I tend to cut my wife or anybody some slack when it comes to just some slips of the tongue," he said. "But there's no doubt there were times where Michelle probably felt like a single mom."

When he campaigned for the Senate and White House, he said he would often be gone for a week at one time.

"She was still working and having to look after the girls. She definitely, I think, understands the burdens that women in part tend to feel if they're both responsible for child-rearing and if they're responsible for working at the same time."

– CNN's Ashley Killough contributed to this report.


Filed under: Malia Obama • Michelle Obama • President Obama • Sasha Obama
soundoff (91 Responses)
  1. Z

    This is brilliant. Saves future regret! Team no tatts.

    April 24, 2013 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  2. just askin

    seriously CNN??? seriously???

    April 24, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  3. wrm

    Ha, that's pretty good, but a threat to be made carefully. The kids might just do it to spite them. As hard headed as mine are I don't think I'd be brave enough to make such a threat.

    April 24, 2013 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  4. Fair is Fair

    Cute. My response would have been quite different... quite different indeed.

    April 24, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  5. Rick

    Come on. All you parents who think getting a tattoo on your carcass with your kids names is doing the kids an honor need to rethink things. Take the money and invest it in something that can be passed from one generation to another, like rare coins, or savings bonds, which will generate financial interest rather than morbid curiosity.

    April 24, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  6. wwf

    To Z
    Seriously? Better than a lot of the crap that is on here day after day Better to see something lighthearted once in a while about anyone, instead of doom and gloom. That is unless one likes to live in doom and gloom.

    April 24, 2013 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  7. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    CNN won't print my approach, even though it worked quite well, I guess because it involved certain physical promises and was more Dominican in nature than speak-softly-carry-NO-stick approach that Americans tend to favor.

    April 24, 2013 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  8. M.E.

    Right, cause tattoos are all about rebelling, Mr. President. What if one of the girls wants to honor a family member or close friend who passed on or something like that? I'm guessing the objections would be light if it was a completely reasonable piece in a discreet spot rather than a random character in an obvious area.

    April 24, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  9. Gary

    Sorry, as someone with a couple tattoos, as well as a professional in the Business world, I find his comments insulting.

    April 24, 2013 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  10. EnglishChallenged

    ..."then mommy and me will get the exact same tattoo in the same place."

    Really? Wouldn't you think that the leader of this country should be able to speak with proper English.
    It should be "then mommy and I will get the exact same tattoo in the same place."

    April 24, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  11. Sniffit

    "Sorry, as someone with a couple tattoos, as well as a professional in the Business world, I find his comments insulting."

    You find it insulting that he would try to dissuade his minor children from getting tattoos before they reach the age of majority and can decide for themselves? Man...you might be able to tolerate the needle, but you've still got some thin skin.

    April 24, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  12. Unegen

    What a boneheaded threat. You know what I would have done if MY parents threatened that? I'd have gone out and gotten exactly the tattoo I wanted, just the same. Hey, you want to get the same tattoo out of spite? Fine. Do that. I'll have no regret for mine and you'll regret yours until you get it removed.

    Honestly, it's embarrassing how many parents have to be taught that there are consequences for their actions.

    April 24, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  13. Mike Belding

    Wow. "When he campaigned for the Senate and White House, he said he would often be gone for a week at one time." Service members are often deployed for 12-14 months at a time. She has no idea what it is like being separated from her husband for that long. Single mother, ha!

    April 24, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  14. Ohblamah

    OMG he had to sometimes be away from his family a week at a time?? That's horrible and totally unheard of. Oh wait, I forgot, he's a 1%-er....

    April 24, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  15. zahia'sbarebacklover

    That is so weak. Nothing wrong with tattoos. Its the people that keep trying to judge those of us who have them,

    April 24, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  16. Ordinary Average American

    You tattooed people have a few chips on your shoulders! I don't like tats, but I couldn't care less if you've got them covering your entire body! To each his or her own and that includes the President of the United States! Get over your inked selves!

    April 24, 2013 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  17. geckopelli

    Sorry to inform you, Mr. President. but your kids are Americans and the polls say that at least one of them sees right through your con job.
    Careful she doesn't call your bluff!

    April 24, 2013 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  18. geckopelli

    Call and raise.

    April 24, 2013 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  19. Lynda/Minnesota

    My middle daughter got her first tattoo on her calf at age 18. Many more tattoos followed for both her (and her husband). At age 37, she now has a 10 year old daughter. It's interesting watching her parent. Her "tactics" are exactly similar to those I used when she would stomp her feet and hissy fit her way to her room at age 10. Thankfully, tattoos were our biggest battle. It could have been worse.

    Hopefully her mother's extremely ugly tattoos stop my granddaughter from following her mother's (and father's) foolishness.

    April 24, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    "What a boneheaded threat. You know what I would have done if MY parents threatened that? I'd have gone out and gotten exactly the tattoo I wanted, just the same. "

    Indeed, you have to parent well-adjusted and mal-adjusted children differently. Pretty sure the Obamas are well aware theirs are the former, so they no doubt took this harmless parenting joke in stride.

    April 24, 2013 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  21. Humm

    Or ask the kids to imagine how their tattoos would look on their grandparents, because a tramp stamp is not something you want to see on someone at that age.

    April 24, 2013 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  22. Bill

    This is news?

    April 24, 2013 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  23. Romney is Still NOT My Hero

    He's being a good father and haters are up here complaining about it... WOW! Afraid of a very powerful BLACK man who is involved positively in his daughter's lives? That's right, if he were smoking crack and not paying child support, none of the haters would say a word.

    April 24, 2013 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  24. Rick McDaniel

    Kids are always going to do things their parents object to........no matter what!

    April 24, 2013 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  25. Kathleen

    I told my underage daughter that, if she got a tattoo, it would be illegal, since minors need parental approval in our state, and that I would close the tattoo parlor down over it. Then I would make sure everyone knew it was because of HER that the tattoo parlor was closed. It worked. She was 20 when she got her first one.
    I also took the approach that as long as I was paying her medical bills then I called the shots regarding tattoos and piercings. Once she hit about 18 she admitted that was a fair way of looking at things.

    April 24, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
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