Photo by Thomas Whiteside
03/05/2014 at 01:00 PM EST
keeps her parenting strategy simple: Suri comes first.
"I think the basics are very important: The No. 1 thing is making sure my child feels loved. And good about herself. And that what she does and who she is is special and should be celebrated," Holmes tells Elle U.K.
for its April issue, out Thursday. "And my mom always said, 'No one loves you like your mother.' "
Holmes, whose marital split
from Tom Cruise
was in July 2012, lives with her stylish 7½-year-old in New York City
, and says she relates to her own mother when it comes to parenting challenges.
"Children are exposed to so much more than we were," says Holmes, 35. "I suppose every generation goes through that feeling, 'Oh my God, it's so different from how I grew up.' "
Such changes notwithstanding, Holmes takes it all in stride. "I think all of our experiences bring us to a greater understanding of ourselves and help us realize what is most important," she says, adding how much of an impact her strong female role models – including her mom and three older sisters – have had on her.
"I love strong women … and I love being inspired by people who fight for what they believe in and hard work and are creative," says Holmes. "And have integrity."