Kate Hudson on the Most 'Powerful Thing' Mom Goldie Hawn Has Said to Her About Being a Parent

For more from Goldie Hawn and Kate Hudson, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday

Goldie Hawn‘s biggest motherhood advice for daughter Kate Hudson? Letting her children figure out who they are and grow into their own people.

The actresses are featured alongside Hudson’s 18-month-old baby girl Rani Rose in PEOPLE’s annual Beautiful Issue (in a sweet photo spread that was shot before the coronavirus crisis gripped the country), where they talk motherhood and how much Hudson, 41, has learned as a mom of three from Hawn.

“The best advice” that Hawn ever gave her daughter, Hudson recalls, is when the How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days actress and Fabletics co-founder was pregnant with son Ryder Russell, now 16, and wondering why she felt “so sad.”

“Mom’s like, ‘Because the second they leave your body, they don’t belong to you anymore.’ I think that was the most powerful thing you’ve ever said to me,” she tells Hawn.

“It’s learning to let go. I think a lot of mothers, particularly with their girls, feel helpless when you don’t think you’re needed anymore. … It’s just a phase,” chimes in the Overboard actress, 74. “There’s an individuation and then there’s a period of time when we come back together again.”

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While Hudson admits she’s “so strict” with Ryder, Rani and son Bingham “Bing” Hawn, 8½, as opposed to how her mom was with her and her brothers Oliver Hudson and Wyatt Russell growing up, she tells PEOPLE that “the biggest similarity between [their] parenting styles is the kindness.”

“Looking people in the eye, that’s where we’re [both] strict. The other stuff, I just want my kids to be happy and be good people in the world,” she adds.

Hawn agrees with her daughter that the latter is the “more structured” parent, though, and jokingly compares Hudson’s parenting style to her approach to shoes: “You draw your roadmaps very firmly.”

Watch the full episode of The Beautiful Issue Cover Story: Goldie Hawn and Kate Hudson streaming now on PeopleTV.com, or download the PeopleTV app on your favorite device.

Clockwise from top: Kate Hudson, Goldie Hawn and Rani Hudson Fujikawa cover PEOPLE. Coliena Rentmeester

“Listen, our children are our greatest teachers. And you should be, as a parent, available to learn, because you don’t know everything,” Hawn continues, telling Hudson that her kids are “not you. And you’re not me. And that is the one thing that we have to remember.”

“And feel connected, you know?” she says. “Sometimes [longtime partner Kurt Russell] would say I wasn’t tough enough and he’d say, “You just want everybody to be happy.” And guess what I’ve done with my life? Created a program [MindUP] to help children understand themselves and be happy.”

“What you create is who you are,” Hawn adds. “The main thing in life is you have to ask: What do I want? And what’s my purpose? And all of those things actually add up to a fulfilling life.”

For more from Goldie Hawn and Kate Hudson, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.

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