Passing the Torch: Wisdom & Guidance From Mothers With Daughters

We asked: How do you empower your daughters? How did the women who raised you do that for you?

By Macaroni KID March 25, 2023

From navigating relationships to pursuing careers, mothers have always been a source of guidance and inspiration for their daughters. We thought Women's History Month would be the perfect time to ask our publishers, most of whom are mothers themselves, to reflect on the invaluable lessons and advice that women have passed down from generation to generation. How do you empower your daughters? What advice do you want to make sure you impart to them? How do you create opportunities for them, support them, and encourage them? 

Or, how did the women who raised you do that for you? 

Here is what they told us.

'If she falls I will be there to catch her'

I was able to be very daring and adventurous in my life because my mom always told me she was my safety net. I knew if I failed at something or got into trouble, she’d have my back. My mom is gone now, and that is hard, but I try to be the same support for my daughter. 

She can try anything, take risks, be brave, and fly with the confidence that if she falls, I will be there to catch her.

— Debra Flanagan, publisher of Macaroni KID Chicago Northside, Ill.

'I want them to be who they want to be and not who they think they should be'

I want my daughters to know that it's important to have a voice, be independent, have a career, and learn to balance responsibilities with fun. 

I want them to be who they want to be and not who they think they should be. I also want to make sure they feel loved, appreciated, and beautiful every day for who they are. 

— Romina Symonds, publisher of Macaroni KID Peabody-Salem-Marblehead, Mass.

'Speak her mind'

I teach my daughters how to stand up for themselves, recognize wrongdoing, allow them to respectfully call me out if I’m wrong, and teach and allow them to speak their minds in any setting respectfully.

— Manisha Bocus, publisher of Macaroni KID Rockville - Gaithersburg, Md.

Use that powerful voice

I teach my daughter how to use her voice, how to lend it to others who literally don't have one, and how to stand up for her rights and those of others, especially relative to their disabilities. 

At 17 and a a voting member of the Louisiana Developmental Disabilities Council, she is in a very unique position and is learning that even little people have the power to do very big, very impactful things to help others. 

— Mimi Webb, publisher of Macaroni KID Shreveport-Bossier, La. 

'Empowerment starts from within'

Mom of 4 daughters here! The biggest way I empower my girls is by telling each of them these daily affirmations: “You are important. You are kind. You are intelligent. You are beautiful. You are brave. And God made you special.”

After being a less-than-confident young girl myself, I vowed to change that for my girls. I believe empowerment starts from within, so I model self-acceptance and self-love first and foremost. These affirmations are my way of speaking life into their very souls, and I hope someday it echoes in their own self-talk as they step out into this world.

— Arianna Larson, publisher of Brainerd-Little Falls-Long Prairie-Mille Lacs Lake, Minn. 

Arianna Larson and her four girls.

'You are worth every ounce of love'

Poise, pause, patience, and power! We have seven kiddos and are lucky to have five daughters, some of who came to us from difficult homes. Each has had to be built up differently. But I’ve taught all of them that you matter. You are worth every ounce of love. 

— Joyce Campbell, publisher of Macaroni KID Southern Rhode Island

'Empowering my daughter is not just a responsibility but a privilege'

My journey of motherhood began when I became the proud mother of a precious little daughter. I knew from the very first moment that she was special, and I made it my mission to empower her with confidence, self-worth, and the belief that she could achieve anything she set her mind to. As her role model, I strive to embody the qualities that I want her to grow up to possess.

There are three ways that I empower my daughter to become the best version of herself. First, we begin each day with powerful affirmations to reinforce her greatness and the endless possibilities that await her. Words have immense power, and I want my daughter to believe in herself and her limitless potential. Second, I give her choices, allowing her to exercise control and ownership over her decisions, be it what to wear, what toy to play with, or what activity to do. This sense of independence and empowerment helps to build her confidence and self-esteem. Last, I encourage my daughter to express herself and to show up authentically as who she is. Her thoughts and feelings are important and deserve to be heard, and by teaching her to identify and label her emotions, I am helping her to develop a strong sense of self-awareness and self-worth. 

Empowering my daughter is not just a responsibility but a privilege, and I am committed to being her biggest cheerleader every step of the way.

— Natasha Bethea Goodwin, publisher of Macaroni KID District Heights, Md.

Encouragement ... through the generations

My mom encouraged me that my dreams are valid AND achievable, and I’m doing that for my daughter, too. 

— Cassy Cochrun, publisher of Macaroni KID Branson, Mo.

'These girls will set the world on fire going after their dreams'

I have two little girls, and I am growing them into Independent young ladies.

I give them space to have BIG emotions, learn from their mistakes and create their future. ... These girls will set the world on fire going after their dreams.

—Kristin Kindred, publisher of Macaroni KID Aurora, Colo.

As we celebrate Women's History Month, we want to take a moment to honor all of our Macaroni KID publishers who are women and moms and who are paving the way for generations to come.