Daughters and their mothers have a special relationship. Because every mother was once a daughter herself, she wants to have a positive impact on her daughter’s life. And she knows what her mother did right and what she did wrong. Some daughters complain that their mothers “nag too much.” Mothers can be controlling about how her daughter looks and what she does, and it can be very annoying growing up.
But a new study out of the University of Essex found that daughters whose mothers nagged them during their upbringing are more likely to have success later in life. Compared to daughters who had “laidback” moms, daughters with nagging mothers proved to be much better off when they became adults.
The study followed the lives of 15,000 thirteen and fourteen-year-old girls. The researchers monitored aspects of the participants’ lives for six years. Research found that nagging mothers, one who stayed on top of the child about homework, chores, how they dressed, and other responsibilities were more likely to produce a well-adjusted and successful child. Daughters with nagging mothers were more likely to go to college and to land higher-paying jobs.
The “nagged” daughters were also less likely to become pregnant as teenagers. Parental nagging was not on and off again. The most successful daughters were consistently “nagged,” and faced expectations from their primary parent, which in most cases was the mother.
The study suggests that children are always listening and paying attention, even if you think they are not. It is important for parents to make clear expectations of their teenagers and hold them accountable to them.
Leader researcher Erika G. Rascon-Ramirez claims that parental influences every decision.
“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.”
Parents create a standard for their children.
When it came to dropping the teen pregnancy rate, “pushy” mothers were the most effective. When parents talked about sex and made it clear that teenagers needed to be safe, the rate of teen pregnancy dropped by 4 percent, which is significant.
Nagging parents kept their daughters from having babies as teens and from having a slack work ethic. They also helped keep their daughters’ grades up. Parents who made clear expectations for their children helped them seize opportunities for their future, like college and job success.
Although it can be hard to be the “nagging” mother who seems to be unwanted at the moment, these parents help produce successful adults. The daughters should be thanking their mothers for all the nagging they received as teenagers. It paid off, as the researcher suggests.
While nagging and strong expectations can be effective, phrases like “I told you so” weaken a mom’s relationship with her daughter. Keep “nagging” helpful and encouraging and goal-orient for the highest success.