This is Part 2 in a 3-Part Series on inspiring your daughter. Read Part 1 here.

Our daughters watch us, look to us for what they need, and often imitate both our weaknesses and our strengths. So being aware of what they most need can help us focus on getting them through their teen and young adult years.

As I surveyed daughters, ages 15-45 for my book, When a Mom Inspires Her Daughter, I found that, overall, our daughters don't need more money, leniency, opportunities, structure, extra-curricular involvement, or music lessons as much as we might think. Instead, what they all indicated that they needed - and still need - is their mother's "love and support."

My daughter, Dana, now 21, says: "I needed my mother's love and support in everything I did. No matter if I did something completely wrong, I needed her to love me anyway and to let me know it was going to be okay."

I asked my survey respondents to further define the phrase "love and support" so moms could get an idea of what it would tangibly look like to show that to their daughters. See if these sound like something your daughter might need, too.

1. She Needs to Know She is Your Priority

As a 19-year-old college student who has never doubted her mother's love for her, Annie says: "My mom made me her center. I don't think that spoiled me. Rather, it made me secure in the fact that she loved me and would do what it took to provide for all I needed."

Another daughter said: "Not to sound selfish, but I needed my mom to choose me first over a lot of things, to let me know that I was a priority in her life over work and finances."

Because we tend to live such over-scheduled lives, it can be challenging to let our daughters know they are more important to us than the job or the tasks at hand. (For some practical ways to show your daughter she is a priority, see the upcoming Part 3: Giving Your Daughter the Gift of Your Time.)  

2. She Needs to Know She Is Accepted   

A young woman needs to know she is accepted by her mom, no matter how old she is. She needs to feel accepted as she is recognizing her uniqueness, in the ways she feels "odd" or out of place in a crowd, and on the days she feels she didn't measure up to others around her.

3. She Needs to Feel a Connection with You

Karen said she never really felt a deep emotional connection with her mom.    

"My mom was a single parent raising me and my siblings. She worked outside of the home through most of my adolescent years. I didn't feel a connection with her because she had a "hard shell" around her heart. While I always knew she loved me, it was very difficult to approach her.

"Even as I matured and became a wife and mother, I did not feel I could share with her the secret places of my heart. I never really felt like I could share intimately with her. Only a few times can I remember really opening up and sharing deep thoughts with her."

Be the one who initiates an emotional connection with your daughter. Even if she's acting like she doesn't want that, she will know that you are the one who is reaching out. 

4. She Needs a Spiritual Foundation

Katie, who was raised in a committed Christian home, says that although she might not have appreciated it at the time, her mother's insistence that she attend church every Sunday and learn strong biblical values is one of the best things her mother could've done for her. It is something Katie intends to imitate with her own children.