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The Impact of Moms' Actions on Their Daughters

Whether we like it or not, watching us teaches our daughters how to conduct their lives as working women, daughters, moms, aunts, granddaughters, wives, lovers, hostesses, cooks, and friends. The Ms. Foundation for Women created "Take Our Daughters to Work Day" in the United States because its leaders know girls learn from their mothers. The feedback the foundation received from daughters who participated in the project demonstrated that the girls developed a greater understanding of their mothers. They expressed admiration and amazement that their mothers worked so hard during the day and appreciation of the fact that they assumed the largest part of work in the household as well.

It is the same the worldwide. Lasenua Madanguda, a teacher and native African, lives in a rural area outside of Machakos, Kenya. Her role modeling is twofold. First, "African mothers must show their daughters what a wife does," she said. "One of the challenges of being an African woman is to bring up a daughter that can establish her home and please her husband and in-laws and produce a daughter who will also do this. It's one big circle."

Second, Lasenua sets the standard for her daughters to follow in terms of education and career. Lasenua's example is being followed by her daughters, one already a college graduate and the other who attends her alma mater, the University of Nairobi.

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Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Mothers and Daughters © 2001 by Rosanne Rosen. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

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