The President and First Lady described parts of their family life, including that their daughter Malia now has a mobile phone.
When asked by Walters whether she was concerned about who Malia may be talking to, Michelle Obama said she gave her daughter a "long rope".
"There is monitoring because we have rules, but monitoring may be, you never know when I'm going to walk into your room and I'm going to definitely ask you who are you talking to and are you talking about schoolwork?" she said.
Barack Obama added that their girls were not "very good liars." He said Malia was now getting to age when she was starting to get phone calls from boys.
"I always talk about how one of the main incentives for running again was continuing Secret Service protection," he joked.
The President also discussed the couple's 20 years of marriage.
"Like every marriage you have your ups and you have your downs, but I think if you work through the tough times, the respect and love that you feel deepens," he said.
Michelle Obama poured cold water over speculation that she may one day run for political office, saying she does not have the patience for politics.
"I have learned from my husband, watching him, that it does require a great deal of patience to really feel the full impact of the work you do on the ground. It doesn't happen right away."
Barack Obama quipped that she has "a bigger difficulty biting her tongue" than himself.
The President is expected back in Washington on Thursday, to resume negotiations with congressional Republicans aimed at averting the fiscal cliff.
The Obama family has spent Christmas in Hawaii and the ABC interview was filmed before they left the White House.