Maria Shriver

Maria says her parents Eunice and Sargent Shriver have used their lives to make a difference in the world—Eunice founded the Special Olympics and Sargent helped start the Peace Corps and Head Start. Maria says her parents have always been excited about ideas, and anyone eating dinner with the Shrivers was subject to answering Sargent's favorite question: "What are you going to do to make a difference?"

"When you're asking about, you know, how mommy and daddy raised kids who were grateful," Maria says, "I think one of the things that my parents did is they put pictures all over our house. … Pictures of kids in Africa. Kids who were disabled, in institutions. And [mom] would explain why her work affected those children's lives and those families' lives. She would constantly talk about what we could do that might have an impact. So every Thursday, for example, she put a piggy bank on the table and said, 'I would normally be spending this amount of money for groceries but now we're putting the money in the piggy bank and you're eating cereal so I can send the money to Africa.' Now, she didn't realize that we liked eating the cereal—but she was constantly trying to talk about what was going on in the rest of the world to open our minds and let us know that we were lucky and that we should be grateful."
Maria Shriver and her mom Eunice Kennedy Shriver

"How do you raise children who are eager?" Oprah asks Eunice. "Eager to learn, eager to be themselves, eager to give back, and grateful? … [Children] who grew up having everything, every opportunity?"

"I think you have to be there when they're there," Eunice answers. "I think if you're out to dinner and lunch all the time and you don't have a ceremony at night—at least a dinner together—you lose that contact very quickly. And we always tried to do that in our family. When I was growing up, I never saw my father go out to dinner once in our whole life, and I never saw my mother go out. They were always at the table with the nine of us. So that was a kind of commitment by them to us. I think that's very important."

Eunice and Maria still talk almost every day and say the person they admire most is one another! But they recognize the challenges of raising healthy, respectful, grateful, giving children and are here to help other mothers and daughters mend their relationships.
Adrienne and her daughter Alia

Adrienne admits that by spoiling her only daughter, Alia, she may have hurt her more than helped her. Adrienne has worked two jobs to provide her daughter with expensive birthday parties, vacations and designer clothes, but Alia seems to take it all for granted. When Alia turned 18, she received $29,000 in a car accident settlement. Her mom tried to give her direction with the money, but Alia spent it all on clothes and a tropical vacation. "I spent really elaborately," Alia confesses, "but that's just the lifestyle I was used to. I had fun with it. It's just money—it comes and goes. … I want to be a teacher, but hopefully I'll marry rich."

"I'm a girl who will tell you it's fun to shop," Oprah tells Alia, "but after you bought all of those things, did you really feel better?" Alia admits that the temporary high she gets from shopping is soon replaced by remorse.

Eunice says she thinks that Alia will find more lasting satisfaction by reaching out in her community. For example, Eunice says Alia could devote time each week to tutoring. And Maria encourages Alia to have more gratitude toward her mother. "What can you do to help her?" Maria asks Alia. "What can you do to honor and say thank you?"
Sylvia and her daughter Heidi

For Sylvia, controlling her 34-year-old daughter's every move is easier than watching her make a mistake. Sylvia says of her daughter, "Heidi is needy—emotionally, financially—and I'm always having to pick up the slack." Sylvia also thinks her daughter's boyfriend, who has tattoos, no college education and is 10 years younger than Heidi, is wrong for her. Although Heidi admits she feels afraid to stand on her own, she also says, "My mom and I are extremely close but I think it's an unhealthy kind of closeness that has sort of paralyzed me from being a fully independent adult. … I think she should be able to let me go."

Maria says even though lots of people were rolling their eyes at her relationship with former bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger, her mother Eunice kept any reservations she had to herself. "She never said, 'Don't do that,'" Maria says. "She just said, 'I trust you have a good opinion. I trust your judgment. You go for it.'" And Eunice always encouraged Maria to do whatever scared her most. "If you stay afraid, you stay paralyzed," Maria says. "That's something I think women do a lot. They want to be perfect. They don't want to make a mistake. And the only way you learn and grow is if you make mistakes, if you take risks."

"You cannot talk a woman out of a man that she believes she's in love with," Oprah tells Sylvia. "You just have to be there for her when it doesn't work out. You have to be—Dr. Phil always says this—her soft place to fall."
The best advice Eunice gave Maria Shriver

Eunice says the best advice her parents ever gave her was about having the courage to think outside herself, and it's an attitude she instilled in all her children. "There's always somebody out there much worse off—[so] get going," Eunice says.

"One of the T-shirts I wear a lot says, 'Well-behaved women never make history'—and it's true!" Maria says. "Women who are consumed with fear never break out and have any experiences or try anything new. Women who want to be perfect only end up feeling bad about themselves. I think that that's one of the things that I learned from [my mother] was, like, go out. Make a mistake. Have the guts to fail and talk about it. There's nothing wrong with that."
Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger's daughter Christina

We just had to know: In the Shriver-Schwarzenegger household, who's more strict with the children, Maria or the former Terminator turned Governor Arnold? Maria says they are strict with the children in different areas. Maria's strict about going to mass on Sundays, manners and school. Arnold's strict about keeping the house tidy, turning off lights to conserve energy and making sure the kids do their laundry.

"He will call me, literally, I'm telling you, from the capitol: 'Have they done the laundry?'" Maria says. "I go, 'Arnold, you're running a state. Don't worry about the laundry!'"

Maria and Arnold's daughter Christina says Arnold will also hide anything he finds left out of place. "If you open up a cabinet, behind pots and pans, you'll find, like, a pair of shoes or something."