Both of former President Barack Obama’s daughters, Sasha and Malia, have grown up to become adults and gone off to college, leaving Obama and former first lady Michelle as so-called “empty nesters” without any children remaining in their home.
During a recent interview with Al Roker of the “Today” show, who will soon become an empty nester himself, Obama jokingly suggested the news host resort to bribery to see his grown children in the future, People magazine reported.
The humorous advice was but one of a few tips the former president shared concerning the experience of watching his youngest daughter grow up and leave home for good.
Crying and bribery
Former President Obama was being interviewed by Roker to help promote a new Netflix series titled “Our Great National Parks,” for which Obama provided the narration for the nature documentary.
While much of the interview was focused on the show, Obama’s love of national parks, and, of course, the impact of climate change on those parks and nature preserves, there were also some light-hearted moments, such as Roker’s request for advice because his youngest son, Nick, was preparing to head off to college shortly.
We’re taking a look at @alroker’s exclusive interview with President Obama where they discuss his new nature series, being an empty nester and more! pic.twitter.com/xwkQUNEjYE
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) April 13, 2022
“Well, first tip is — you are going to weep copiously when you drop Nick off at college,” Obama said. “But you can’t let him see you cry, so you drop him off and then you quickly leave, and then you cry in the car.”
“Tip number two is — you try to bribe them with like nice trips,” he continued. “‘Hey, we’re going to Hawaii, you guys want to come?’ so that they show up.”
Take it as a sign of success and accomplishment
On a more serious note, though, the former president referenced something the former first lady had said previously in similar regard to children growing up and heading out on their own and how that should be viewed as a sign of being a successful parent.
“Michelle always said, and she’s absolutely right about this, our job as parents is to teach our kids not to need us,” Obama said.
“And it hurts, but when you see them as accomplished, confident, kind, thoughtful, responsible people, then you know you’ve done your job,” he added.
To be perfectly honest, and in full acknowledgment of our deep disagreement with Obama on nearly all political and policy matters, we find it hard to disagree with him here on this particular matter and wish nothing but the best for the Obamas and Rokers as they watch their beloved children transform into independent adults.