All you sweet moms out there who have daughters, we’ve got good news for you. Those days you’ve spent worrying about whether your girls have gotten the message are paying off.
In a study conducted by the University of Essex, it was found that daughters whose mothers constantly nagged them during adolescence were more likely to be successful than those with super laidback moms.
Oh yes. The mom looks you’ve had to shoot across the room. The reminders, arguments, discussions, and perceived harassment you’ve dished out. You having to endure snarky mumbles and comments. Oh yeah, they’re all worth it.
The study looked at the lives of over 15,000 13 and 14-year-old teenage girls for six years. Results concluded that young ladies who had a main parent (usually the mother) that stayed on top of them about chores, school, and responsibilities were more likely to go to college and have high paying jobs.
They were also less likely to become pregnant as teens. The “nagging” doesn’t necessarily come in the form that you think but has more to do with setting consistent expectations as a parent. One of the things discovered during the study that you may find surprising is that kids are listening even when you think they are not.
Lead researcher Ericka G. Rascon-Ramirez stated that no matter what, parents influence decision-making:
“In many cases we succeeded in doing what we believed was more convenient for us, even when this was against our parents’ will. But no matter how hard we tried to avoid our parents’ recommendations, it is likely that they ended up influencing, in a more subtle manner, choices that we had considered extremely personal.”
It seems like subconsciously, what parents create as standards takes root in their children’s minds. In some way, the pushback and other typical teenage reactions we receive act as a mask. They don’t always like hearing it, but it works!
Researchers also found that many of the strides were seen among girls who weren’t the best students but had strict or “pushy” mothers. This type of parenting can reduce the teenage pregnancy rate by 4%, which is fairly high (though dropping) in Britain and the United States.
Cautioning them about having babies early, a poor work ethic, and low grades can inform their choices from a young age and prepare them to seize opportunities for long-term success. Being an annoying, unsolicited advice-giver has its perks.
Moms: while we may feel like we’re being tuned out, disrespected, or overbearing, know that there are benefits to our madness. You may sometimes hear your own mother’s voice (or father’s) reminding you of what to do or what not to do. It never ends, does it?
Just avoid saying things like, “I told you so” and avoid gloating over your kid’s mistakes. Encouragement and helpful “nagging” is likelier to lead your girls down a successful path.
In your own life, do you believe this study’s findings to be true? Was your mom a nag growing up? Are you a “pushy” parent that is raising daughters?