PARENTS
05/20/2013 12:03 pm ET

Obama Morehouse Commencement Speech: 'Be The Best Father You Can Be'

On Sunday, President Obama gave the all-male graduating class of Morehouse College very important advice for their futures during his commencement speech. "Be the best father you can be," he said.

The president then got personal, explaining how he wishes his father was there for him growing up. "I have tried to be for Michelle and my girls what my father was not for my mother and me. I want to break that cycle."

Obama has spoken about the importance of dads being present frequently during his time in office, often citing his own father's bad example. Just two days before speaking at Morehouse, he visited Baltimore’s Center for Urban Families to speak with "troubled" fathers about mending their relationships with their kids.

On Father's Day in 2009, he addressed a group of teenaged boys, mentors and dads to discuss how being a father is not an obligation, but instead a privilege. "Just because your own father wasn't there for you, that's not an excuse for you to be absent also. It's all the more reason for you to be present," he said. Administration officials then spent one year touring six cities to focus on fathers' roles.

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