7 Lessons from George Washington’s Mom

Feb 17 2013

by Whitney Long

With President’s Day tomorrow, let’s take a look at George Washington – a high achiever. What really propelled him to such greatness? A lot of his success can be attributed to his mother, Mary Ball Washington. We can use some of her mothering tactics to help our own children reach their potential. via

1. She believed in him

George Washington is quoted as saying that his mother was the reason he was able to go so far in his life. After George’s father died when he was a boy, it fell to Mary to show her son she had confidence in his abilities.

2. She spent time with him

As a widow, Mary Ball Washington was a busy woman. But she still made time for her son, George. One of their favorite activities was fishing together. There is no substitute for time spent with our children.

3. She made him feel special

What do you do to make your children feel special? Sure, basically all we do as mothers is for the benefit of our children, but do you have one special tradition that says, “You are special”? Mary baked George his favorite gingerbread cake to show him he mattered.

4. She made the best of her parenting situation

For most of George’s childhood, Mary was a single mom. She was also the breadwinner as she managed her family’s farm. It must have been a tough road, but she always put the needs of her children first.

5. She put her foot down when she needed to

Mary has been described as stubborn, but as both father and mother to George, she had to be firm. When George was a young teenager, he wanted to join the British Navy. Mary told him no. The course of history would’ve likely been changed if she had said yes. So, mom, don’t be afraid to tell your children no.

6. She backed down when she needed to

Eventually, George wanted to become a soldier. This time, Mary said, yes, realizing that he was now old enough to make his own, well thought-out decisions. At some point, all mothers must let go and let their children become adults.

7. She prayed for him

Once Mary had set George on his course, she prayed for him diligently. As we become more distant physically from our children’s day-to-day life, this is the best way to administer a positive influence in their lives.


Whitney Long View More Blog Posts from this Author

Whitney Long is co-founder of The Southern C and The Southern C Summit. Mama x 4, wife x 1. Entrepreneur, thinker, doer, writer, researcher, believer. Enjoys working alongside creative entrepreneurs to build community while supporting established and upcoming brands. Hobbies include travel, reading, bike rides and clever craft cocktails.

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