Bristol Palin, daughter of former Governor of Alaska and 2008 Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin has criticised Barack Obama for letting his children’s views contribute to his support of marriage for gay couples.

President Obama became the first sitting US president to personally endorse equal marriage rights for gay and straight couples this week.

Not everyone welcomed the culmination of his self-styled “evolution” on marriage equality for gays, however.

Ms Palin, who has become an advoate for teen pregnancy prevention efforts after becoming an unwed mother at age 18, found the idea that Mr Obama’s change of position had been prompted in part by a conversation with his daughters problematic.

The president had said: “Malia and Sasha, they have friends whose parents are same-sex couples.

“There have been times where Michelle and I have been sitting around the dinner table and we’re talking about their friends and their parents and Malia and Sasha, it wouldn’t dawn on them that somehow their friends’ parents would be treated differently.

“It doesn’t make sense to them and frankly, that’s the kind of thing that prompts a change in perspective.”

Now a single mother, Ms Palin said children “do better” growing up with both parents and that as a father Mr Obama should be shaping his children’s “worldview”, not the other way around.

She wrote: “While it’s great to listen to your kids’ ideas, there’s also a time when dads simply need to be dads.

“In this case, it would’ve been helpful for him to explain to Malia and Sasha that while her friends parents are no doubt lovely people, that’s not a reason to change thousands of years of thinking about marriage. Or that – as great as her friends may be – we know that in general kids do better growing up in a mother/father home. Ideally, fathers help shape their kids’ worldview.

“In this situation, it was the other way around. I guess we can be glad that Malia and Sasha aren’t younger, or perhaps today’s press conference might have been about appointing Dora the Explorer as Attorney General because of her success in stopping Swiper the Fox.”