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Barack Obama’s beautiful words for his daughters as he prepares to leave the White House

The girls grew up under the most intense spotlight in the world.

It can't be easy being the daughters of the most powerful man in the world, but Barack and Michelle Obama's kids have proved they can handle the pressure.

Sasha and Malia were just seven and 10 when they moved into the White House, meaning their every move was watched by the public.

But Obama had some beautiful words for his girls - who are now 15 and 18 - and his wife in his moving final address as President.

"Michelle - for the past 25 years, you've been not only my wife and mother of my children, but my best friend. You took on a role you didn't ask for and made it your own with grace and grit and style and good humour," he said.

"You made the White House a place that belongs to everybody. And a new generation sets its sights higher because it has you as a role model. You've made me proud. You've made the country proud.

"Malia and Sasha, under the strangest of circumstances, you have become two amazing young women, smart and beautiful, but more importantly, kind and thoughtful and full of passion. You wore the burden of years in the spotlight so easily. Of all that I've done in my life, I'm most proud to be your dad."

As his time in the White House comes to a close, Obama has taken the chance to thank his family for their support. Speaking to ABC News’ The Week about his eight years as President of the United States, he again spoke of how proud he is as a dad, first and foremost.

“You don't know how it would have turned out if they had grown up in Chicago instead in a more normal environment,” he began. “All I can say is they have turned out to be terrific young women.”

“We were concerned mostly about whether they would develop an attitude. And they are sweet, kind, funny, smart, respectful people, and they treat everybody with respect.”

Obama says it’s mostly down to wife Michelle, and the couple love getting praise about their daughters from other parents.

“You know, we feel pretty good when we hear back from friends. They still have sleepovers and they go to other folks' houses and when the parents say, ‘Oh, you know, Malia, she's just so sweet,’ or ‘Sasha helped to pick up the dishes. What is it that you're doing?'' ‘he said.

Obama said the girls’ only gripe was being followed around by the Secret Service with guns and microphones once they became teenagers, which, we guess would be a bit of a drag.

“But they've handled it with grace, and I give Michelle most of the credit for how well they've done,” the out-going President concluded.

The Obamas will remain in Washington, DC until Sasha finishes high school. Malia is currently taking a gap year before heading to Harvard.

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