What good mothers do differently
Nurture yourself ... to nurture your daughter better, experts advise.
What does it take to raise a resilient daughter? Sound values? A strong work ethic? Love and dedication? Yes, yes and yes. But even more important, perhaps, advises Michelle Obama, is a healthy sense of self-respect. Look after yourself to ensure that your girls learn to care for themselves as much as they do for others.
America's First Lady does exactly that, by prioritising her own health and happiness.
It's not selfish, it's "practical", she told America's ABC network.
"One of the things that I want to model for my girls is investing in themselves as much as they invest in others," she added.
Obama says "self-preservation tools" are vital elements in a productive, happy life. "You can be educated, you can be smart, you can be pretty, you can have fun, you can sweat, you can run - and you have to do all of that to manage in this world."
Conscious self-maintenance is what keeps her sane and able to "perform at maximum capacity" for her family, says the Obama.
She also wants to set a different example for her girls than her mother did for her.
"My mother was the traditional stay-at-home mum. She spent her days at our games and at the PTA, and cooking and doing everything. And the thought of her spending a dime on herself was just like, oh my goodness, why would I want to do that?"
Jo Wise, life coach and trainer from Midst of Motherhood says that she sees this behavior in all of her clients who are mothers.
She explains that by continuing to put themselves last, these mothers are not only letting themselves down, they are letting their children down as well.
"When we are feeling depleted and exhausted and tired, we are actually seeing other people's needs through our filter."
It then becomes "more of an obligation to do the things we know we should do, rather than doing the things out of love," she says.
She urges women to fill "your 'cup' with self-love and nourishment and to share the overflow with others". Lavishing care, respect and love on yourself not only feels good but it shows those around you how you expect to be treated, Wise explains.
Meeting your own needs is especially important in teaching girls self-respect and positive body image, she says. It's also the first step to developing supportive relationships.
Seeing her mother engage positively with friends and family is vital for an impressionable young girl's emotional development, says Sharon Witt, educator and author of the Teen Talk series of books. "They [daughters] can't be what they can't see," so it is necessary to show them what healthy relationships look like.
It is about being mindful and not "gossiping and being unkind to your own friends" as well as proactively managing relationships with a view to ending those that are unhealthy, Witt says.
Learning to communicate effectively and providing reassurance to your daughter are also important habits to develop, says Jodie Benveniste, parenting expert, psychologist and director of Parent Wellbeing. Mothers can foster open lines of communication by engaging in regular activities with their daughters, Benveniste advises. It doesn't necessarily have to be a once-a-week event, "it could be just a casual chat about things in the car on the way home," she explains.
How mothers convey their idea of a successful life to their daughters plays a crucial role in helping girls reach their own potential. Regardless of whether you are a stay-at-home mum or a working mum, Benveniste says, "try and set up a lifestyle that is going to support you to do what you love because that then shows your daughter that she can pursue something that she loves in life."
This theme is echoed by successful businesswomen who consider their mothers to have been instrumental in their career success.
Amy Richards, owner of accessories boutique Sterling & Hyde credits her mum's advice -"Happiness is ultimately something only you can achieve and something you have a responsibility to yourself to search for" - with giving her the courage to switch industries from law to handbag design.
Felicity Grey, a former public service employee, who jumped ship to start her own PR firm, The Theory Crew, paints a similar picture: "My mother instilled in me to be self-aligned and independent and if you want to do something, then you should [pursue it]."
While both women are grateful for their mothers' support and encouragement in terms of their professional achievements, they also attribute their ability to lead satisfying personal lives to the values their mothers passed on to them.
Grey's mother tended to play devil's advocate with her, which helped her learn how to "self-analyse and consider other people's points of view." But it was her mum's emphasis on leading a balanced life, that Grey says helped her understand the concept of "me-time".
"Mum would take herself to the movies on the odd Saturday afternoon," she says. It was this breathing space that her mother allowed in her schedule that made Grey adopt the same mind-set as she entered motherhood.
"I am finding mum's approach is really working for me. I love the time at work, love the time with my family and I love the time I spend on my own and having more balance makes me a well-rounded person," she says.