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The Best Thing My Abuela Ever Taught Me

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Secrets four women have learned — and want to share themselves.

Generations of women looking at pictures and smiling

Abuelas hold a special place for many. Not only are they the matriarchs, but they often serve as the center of their respective families. They’re full of wisdom and advice culled from years of experience, and they don’t hold back from sharing it with younger generations (whether solicited or not). Here, four women share what their own abuelas taught them—and how it impacts them to this day.

Independence Is Key

“My abuela taught me the value of independence. I have learned from her that you should not rely on others to do things for you, but instead make them happen yourself. Her work ethic is something she certainly passed down to me: She has never frowned on a job or looked at an opportunity as below her. It’s impacted me tremendously in the sense that I value my independence and ability to make decisions on my own. I’m appreciative of the opportunities in my career that I have earned and see value in working collaboratively.” —Dyana Trejos, beauty publicist

Family Comes First

“The best advice my grandmother has told me would be that no matter what you go through or where you are in life, always remember where you came from—and always put family first. This has stayed with me and I always keep this in mind whenever I’m feeling down or overwhelmed. At the end of the day family comes first and everything else comes after. Nothing is truly more important. I’d like to think of myself as a humble person and I think that has a lot to do with always remembering my roots.” —Mel Rodriguez, the style blogger behind MelRodStyle

Focus on Security

“’Every woman deserves security.’ Over the years, I’ve come to fully understand what she meant. A woman’s security comes in many forms, from a relationship sense to a family sense to a business sense—and it has little to do with how much money one has. I define it as love and stability; it’s the basic foundation to human happiness. [She also taught me that] a woman also is the foundation of the security for her children. You having security shows your children the type of life they should work towards one day.” —Carolyn Aronson, the CEO and founder of It’s a 10 Hair Care

Plan for Memories

“Mi abuelita Rosa taught me that family is first! When you’re feeling lost, they are there waiting for you. My dad, no matter what, took the time to visit his mom, bringing joy and delicious food and building memories. And my Oma, from my mom’s side, taught me about savings. Always save money for your future, and when you retire, live richly—don't spend everything when you are young. Travel, laugh, hug, eat well, but save as much as you can! I want to keep that as a reminder for me and also for my children. Every time my brother and I saw her, she gave us $20, but we only could save it. For me, now as an adult, it is important to keep this tradition alive.” —Rory Lassanske, content creator and founder of Mama Contemporanea

Get more great health and wellness stories at Parents.com/Strive