Essential Life Lessons All Mothers Should Teach Their Daughters

The relationship between a mother and daughter is a multifaceted and complex thing of beauty because mothers teach their daughters many invaluable, formative lessons. It’s an apprenticeship, a partnership, and the firmest of friendships.

By Molly Farinholt5 min read
24 Things Mothers Should Teach Their Daughters

While fathers play a key (and irreplaceable) role in forming their daughters into young women, mothers lead their daughters into womanhood with the blueprints of their own lives, modeling day in and day out the true treasure of femininity. 

Here are 24 things that every mother should teach her daughter — through graceful example, patient instruction, and tender love.

What Mothers Should Teach Their Daughters about Relationships

How To Choose a Man 

While society may have young women believe that all men are evil, that’s clearly not the case. There are plenty of good men in the world; women just have to know how to find them. Mothers should teach their daughters what they should look for in a man (i.e. the manners of a gentleman, good values, a knack for working hard, and a good relationship with his mother) and where they may find such a man (i.e. a friend’s backyard barbecue instead of a bar).

How To Be Pursued by a Man

It’s not enough to have good taste in men. A young woman needs to know how to captivate her Prince Charming and how to be properly courted by him. A mother should steer her daughter away from the snares of hookup culture and ensure that she knows that she’s worth proper dates and flowers on the front stoop. 

How To Be a Good Wife

A mother teaches her daughter how to be a good wife by the way she loves her own husband. With every work shirt lovingly ironed, every “hello, honey” when he walks in the back door, and every chore paused for a slow dance in the kitchen, a mother shows her daughter what it means to truly love another ‘til death do them part. 

A mother teaches her daughter how to be a good wife by the way she loves her own husband. 

How To Be a Good Mother

Good mothers raise future good mothers. Not only do they show them how to care for children, but they also impart to them the importance and dignity of motherhood. Today, motherhood is too often regarded as the lesser path for a woman. We're told that babies get in the way of dreams. A mother must teach her daughter that babies and dreams can go hand-in-hand. 

How To Be a Good Friend

Every woman needs sisterhood. She needs friends who will bolster her up in her pursuit of goodness, act as a support system during the seasons of trial, and keep life always full of laughter. A mother can teach her daughter how to find these friends and, more importantly, how to be this kind of friend. 

How To Stand up for Others

Mothers should teach their daughters that when others start to gossip, it’s best to be the one who shuts it down with kind words and a new topic of conversation. When others are excluded, it’s best to be the one who offers them friendship. And when someone is being treated as the underdog, it’s best to act as her enthusiastic cheering squad. 

How To Treat Strangers

Everyone should be treated with kindness — even if they mess up your dinner order, cut you off on the highway, or ignore your friendly “hello.” Mothers can show their daughters how to act with charity, patience, and class towards all. 

Mothers model how to treat everyone with kindness.

How To Have Faith

Life is full of twists and turns, ups and downs. It can be difficult to handle all of this without faith. A mother can show her daughter where to turn, with gratitude, in good times and, with supplication, in bad times. She can show her that hope does not disappoint, that we’re not alone in this life, and that, in everything, there is cause for joy. 

The Practical Skills Mothers Should Teach Their Daughters

How To Make a House a Home

Four walls don’t make a home. Rather, it’s the loving touches of a homemaker seeking to bring life and warmth to each room that transforms a house into a home. When a mother places a vase of fresh-cut flowers on the table, hangs family photos in the living room, and pulls homemade bread out of the oven, she creates home and shows her daughter how to do the same. 

How To Be a Good Hostess

Every woman needs to know how to welcome guests into her home and how to throw a successful brunch, luncheon, and dinner party. Involving your daughter in the preparations for the next house guest and the planning for the next holiday gathering is a perfect way to convey all of the tricks that go into being a good hostess

How To Cook

Not everyone needs to be a top chef, but every woman should know the basics of cooking and should be proficient at cooking at least a handful of delicious and nutritious meals. A collection of tried and true recipes (and the skills necessary to put them on the table) is a wonderful gift that keeps on giving. 

Every woman should know the basics of cooking and a handful of healthy recipes.

How To Sew on a Button

Mastering the art of sewing may not be for everyone, but it’s handy to know how to put a few stitches here and there. When a button pops off her favorite blazer, a daughter will be glad that her mother taught her how to sew it back on. 

How To Iron

There’s nothing worse than wrinkles in a pretty dress. Mothers can help their daughters always look sharp by teaching them how to properly iron clothes. 

How To Budget

Mothers love the phrase “A penny saved is a penny earned.” Learning how to be frugal, save for a rainy day, and stretch one’s dollar are all important lessons that a mother can teach her daughter. Popping into cute consignment and thrift stores together is never a bad way to spend a Saturday afternoon! 

How To Clean

Common sense, right? Wrong. There’s definitely a correct way to clean a house, and mothers seem to have all of the tricks down! Only a mother would be able to tell you, for example, that a tennis ball is best for getting scuffs out of hardwood floors. 

There’s definitely a correct way to clean a house, and mothers seem to know all of the tricks! 

How To Do Laundry

Doing laundry is a fairly simple chore, but you still need to learn the basics. An afternoon spent sorting darks and lights and carefully folding freshly laundered linens (including the dreaded fitted sheet) is all it takes. 

What Mothers Should Teach Their Daughters about Themselves

How To Act Like a Lady

Good manners seem to be going out of style, but that doesn’t mean they should. Mothers can preserve etiquette and pass it on to the next generation by encouraging their daughters to conduct themselves with class (i.e. avoiding profane speech, limiting one’s alcohol, expressing gratitude, etc.). 

How To Present Themselves Attractively

Mothers should always ensure that their daughters understand the importance of dressing well — feminine, classy, and in a way that best fits their figure. Mothers should teach their daughters the importance of learning how to dress well, and appropriately for whatever situation is at hand. Mothers should also teach their daughters about skincare, makeup, and hairstyling.

How To Be Resilient

Young women need to learn from their mothers what it means to be truly strong — to be able to face difficulties and hurdles head-on, to never back down from a worthy challenge, and to know that life isn’t always easy or fair but that it’s always beautiful. 

Young women need to learn from their mothers what it means to be truly strong.

Her True Worth

A mother can teach her daughter that her true worth doesn’t lie in her looks, her smarts, her talents, her relationships, or her achievements, but in the very fact that she was created as a unique individual with a body, a soul, and a purpose in this world. 

About Appropriate Self-Love

Society forces false ideas of self-love upon young women, but mothers can correct these wrong ideas. They can show their daughters that to truly love themselves is not to accept their flaws and vices, but to constantly strive to better themselves and to grow in virtue. 

How To Be Virtuous

Virtue may seem like an idea of old, but really we need virtuous women now more than ever. Mothers can teach their daughters about the virtues and how to implement them in their own lives. They can, through example, show them that great fruit is born of great virtue. 

Great fruit is born of great virtue. 

How To Truly Love Her Body

Mothers can protect their daughters from the lies of both diet culture and body positivity culture by showing them the simple path to balance. They can encourage them to exercise in healthy ways and eat nourishing foods, while also showing them that it’s okay to embrace their feminine curves and indulge in the occasional piece of cake. 

That She Is Loved

And, of course, every daughter needs her mother to teach her that she is loved. A mother’s love is a powerful force that helps girls to blossom into beautiful, joyful, confident, and noble young ladies. 

Closing Thoughts

Mothers are the primary teachers for their daughters. They possess the wisdom of womanhood and the love necessary to carefully impart those oh-so-important lessons that help transform a young girl into the woman she was born to be.

Readers make the world go round. Make your voice heard in the official Evie reader survey.