Mother’s key advice to daughters “Just be happy”
Arlene Phillips advises her daughters to: “be kind, be careful, be considerate, be crazy!”
As Mother’s Day approaches, Saga research* reveals the true relationship between mothers and daughters, and breaks down the myth that the nuclear family is ruining intergenerational contact. The research, released today by Saga, shows that a third of women under 50 talk to their mothers once or twice a week and 39% of women under 50 talk to their mother’s everyday.
While only 14% of daughters see their mother’s daily, a third see them at least once or twice a week. Distance from their mothers (33%) is the most usual reason cited by daughters for not visiting more often, closely followed by work commitments (22%).
Emma Soames, editor at large of Saga Magazine says ‘The family itself may have gone nuclear but the mother daughter relationship most certainly has not. Evidently it’s a key relationship in the lives of nearly all women in the UK. It is made so much easier with email and mobiles which probably account for the high levels of contact between mothers and daughters.”
43% of the 1,997 women interviewed for Saga rely on their mothers most for general advice and support. Only 8% rely on them for childcare, although this figure rises to over one in five (22%) in families where there are two or more children. When asked what the most important lesson they would pass on to their daughters, 60% cited the importance of being happy, followed by education and work, not getting into debt and family.
The following celebrities share the best advice they received from their parents, and that passed onto their own children:
Arlene Phillips -
My mother used to say, "Do unto others as you wish to be done by." And to my daughters, I often remind them to, "Be kind, be careful, be considerate, be crazy."
Kathy Lette -
My wise mother’s advice to me was don’t try to be a perfect mother. Perfect mothers only exist in American sitcoms. As much as we love our progeny, all mums have days where we're tempted to put the kids back into the condom vending machine.
The best advice I've given my daughter, 18-year-old Georgie, is "Don’t wait to be rescued by some Knight in Shining Armani. A girl must learn to stand on her own two stilettos. Oh, and never eat anything from a roadside stand."
Rachel Johnson -
My mother, who is a child of the sixties and an artist, once to my shock said to me, "never refuse your husband" though she denies it now. As for my daughter - she's so much wiser and more grounded and multitalented than me so I tend to take advice from her - especially on clothes. When she says, "Mum, lose the playsuit," as I'm on my way out to a black tie event, I tend to listen.
Lynda Bellingham -
"Always best to sleep on it," my mother always used to say. "It's always better in the morning." She was often right. She also used to say, "Give people enough love and they will give it back to you." I have no daughters myself, but I always tell my sons this one particular thing. 'Slow down. Slow down and listen to your inner voice'.
Lady Antonia Fraser -
I had such a close relationship with my mother, we had a wonderful bond. The one thing I truly cherish from her is not really something that she said, but her motivation to have her daughters educated. She was the mother of four girls and four boys, and by being the eldest; I really felt her desire to have us at our most competent. In the 40s, it just wasn't every day that women did this. I do remember once when at the Dragon School in Oxford, I finished second in a race. My mother approached me - and she did not mean this in a nasty way at all - but she said something that will always stick with me. "Why didn't you come first Darling?"
Lynne Franks -
My mother was very adamant that I work hard for everything. This was good and bad advice really. Good in the sense that her words inspired me to persevere in my career and to reach for the top. Bad because I've never subsequently expected a man to keep me, which has meant that I've worked constantly all my life! It's empowering, however. I earn my money and I spend it, too."
"As for my children, I've been firm in making sure they know they are both responsible for themselves. It's very much, you make the calls, you deal with the effect. I've also passed onto them my mother's mantra about hard work and I think it's paid off. My son is a stand up comedian, inheriting my media gene and my daughter, who is heavily involved in holistic teaching and dancing, has acquired my spiritual side. I like to think they each have a side of me."
Carla Powell -
"I may not have got on well with my mother, but I made a total treasure of her advice when I married my husband of 47 years, Charles, at the age of 18. "Remember," she said to me in Italian, "the success of a marriage is all down to the woman, so start learning how to eat toads!" Or in other words, prepare to encounter an unpredictable ride ahead! I remember passing this on to Princess Diana when I met her once. As for my children, I think I've done my bit. They are both very supportive of my daughter-in-laws, even in the times I don't agree. That's a good sign.
*YouGov, March 2011, 1,997 GB females The top five pieces of advice to give to a daughter; 1. The importance of being happy 60% 2. The importance of education/work 46% 3. The importance of their family 46% 4. Don’t get in to debt 38% 5. Be healthy and exercise 31% For more information please contact the Saga Press Office on 01303 771529