"I think the basics are very important," she told Elle UK. "The number one thing is making sure my child feels loved. And good about herself. And that what she does and who she is, is special and important, and should be celebrated.
"And, as my mum always said, 'No one loves you like your mother'."
The brunette beauty, who appears on the April cover of the magazine, is a proud mum to eight-year-old Suri, from her marriage to Tom Cruise.
She added that motherhood has deepened her admiration and respect for strong women.
"I have three older sisters and one older brother and I went to an all-girls school, and I have always been a fan of women," the 35-year-old said.
"I support women and all experiences give you more insight into others, as well as yourself.
Katie is reluctant to label herself a feminist though. "Ummm. I identify with women. I identify with people who work really hard.
"I think… I love strong women and I love strong men and I love being inspired by people who fight for what they believe in and work hard and are creative. And have integrity. I don't think (the word feminism) is problematic."
The actress also reflected on her years on Dawson's Creek — the coming-of-age TV series that ran from 1998 until 2003 and launched her career.
Katie on Dawson's Creek
"The world has changed so much since then," she said. "Social media, and what people are watching. But I think innocence was one of the draws of the show.
"It was these kids going through first love and heartbreak and growing up and friendships changing. So I'm glad that the innocence still holds up."