STUDY: Nagging Mothers with High Expectations Raise Successful Daughters - What Does It Mean For You?

Are you a nagging mum? If so, we challenge you to rethink your approach.

Nagging mothers lead to successful daughters - do you agree? You have to read 'til the end to know what we think.

Nagging gets a lot of flak in most circles. Some say that reminding your children over and over again to do their homework, wash the dishes, pick up their clothes from the floor, and so forth only teaches them to tune out your voice.

However, research has found that nagging actually gets things done—at least in the case of teenage girls. The study conducted by the University of Essex in England found that daughters with pushy mothers are more likely to be successful. 

Girls whose parents have high expectations are less likely to become pregnant in their teens and perform better at school

STUDY: Nagging Mothers with High Expectations Raise Successful Daughters - What Does It Mean For You?

Head researcher Ericka Rascon-Ramirez studied the lives of 15,770 girls from 2004 to 2010. The girls were first interviewed at the ages of 13 and 14 between the ages of 13 and 14. She found that the higher parental expectations were, the lower the likelihood of teenage pregnancy became.

"It is worth highlighting that the measure of expectations considered in this study reflects a combination of aspirations and beliefs about the likelihood of attending Higher Education reported by the main parent, who in the majority of cases, is the mother."

As much as nagging parents annoy teenagers, their influence is undoubted. 

It also found that pushy parents also led to a positive result in teenage girls’ academic performances—especially if they weren’t particularly academic. This is because these girls don’t have friends or teachers who put in the work to motivate them, and so the influence of a pushy parent tends to be more pronounced.

Even when teenagers try to act independently or defy their parents’ expectations, the nagging of well-meaning parents still has an effect on their performance.

"What our parents expected about our school choices was a major determinant of our decisions about conceiving a child or not during our teenage years”

“In many cases, we succeeded in doing what we believed was more convenient for us, even when this was against our parents’ will,” Rascon-Ramirez said in a media briefing.

“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.

"What our parents expected about our school choices was, very likely, a major determinant of our decisions about conceiving a child or not during our teenage years.”

The Rebuttal: Why We Don't Recommend Nagging

nagging mum Image Source: iStock

Cue mums saying, "I told you so."

But wait. We believe there's more to this discussion. 

Asian mums, often associated with the stereotype of "tiger moms," possess certain qualities that set them apart. One notable characteristic is their tendency to be pushy, driven by their desire for their children to excel academically and professionally. They believe in setting high expectations and pushing their children to reach their full potential.

Along with being pushy, Asian mums are sometimes seen as nagging, constantly reminding their children to study, practice, or complete tasks. While these qualities may come from a place of love and wanting the best for their children, it's important to remember that not all Asian mums fit this stereotype, and parenting styles can vary widely among individuals.

It should be noted that the findings from the study reveal how parents with high expectations can reduce a teenager’s chance of becoming pregnant by four per cent compared to parents with ‘middling aspirations’. 

Certainly, there are other ways to express your expectations of your child that do not include consistently nagging them. 

Moreover, there also several studies that enumerate the negative effects of harsh parenting, nagging in particular, in children.

For instance, one study demonstrated that frequent criticism and nagging from parents were linked to lower self-esteem in children that persisted into adulthood. Another one found that excessive parental nagging was significantly associated with higher levels of depressive symptoms in adolescents.

Finally, a specific study found that children whose mothers are highly critical of them had impaired brain activity — compared to other kids — in response to rewards and losses.

The Downside of Nagging Your Children

Parenting can be a tough gig, and we all want what's best for our children. However, constantly nagging them may not always yield the desired results. Let's take a lighthearted look at the downsides of nagging and explore alternative approaches to fostering healthy communication with our little ones.

  • Resistance and Rebellion

Constant nagging can lead to resistance and rebellion from your children, as they may feel controlled or overwhelmed.

  • Strained Relationships

Nagging can strain the parent-child relationship, creating tension and diminishing the bond of trust.

  • Diminished Self-Esteem

Frequent nagging can erode your child's self-esteem and confidence, making them doubt their abilities and worth.

  • Ineffective Communication

Nagging often leads to one-way communication, shutting down meaningful dialogue and understanding between parent and child.

  • Reduced Motivation

Instead of cultivating intrinsic motivation, nagging may result in your child relying on external prompts and not developing a sense of responsibility.

While it's natural to remind and guide our children, striking a balance is crucial. Encouraging independence, setting clear expectations, and fostering open communication can be effective strategies in helping your child thrive.

How to Motivate Your Daughter to Succeed Without Nagging

STUDY: Nagging Mothers with High Expectations Raise Successful Daughters - What Does It Mean For You? Image Source: iStock

As parents, we want to inspire and motivate our daughters to reach their full potential without resorting to constant nagging. By adopting positive and empowering approaches, we can fuel their motivation and foster a sense of self-belief. Check out these five strategies to encourage and support your daughter's success in a nurturing and uplifting way.

  1. Set Clear and Realistic Goals: Help your daughter establish clear, achievable goals that align with her interests and abilities. Break them down into smaller milestones to provide a sense of progress and accomplishment.

  2. Celebrate Effort and Progress: Focus on recognising your daughter's efforts and progress rather than solely emphasising the final outcome. Encouragement and praise for her hard work and perseverance can boost her motivation and self-confidence.

  3. Encourage Passion and Autonomy: Support your daughter in exploring her passions and interests. Encourage her to make choices and decisions independently, allowing her to take ownership of her journey and develop a sense of autonomy.

  4. Provide a Supportive Environment: Create a nurturing and supportive environment where your daughter feels safe to take risks and learn from failures. Offer guidance, resources, and emotional support, and let her know you believe in her abilities.

  5. Lead by Example: Be a positive role model by pursuing your own goals and displaying a growth mindset. Demonstrate resilience, perseverance, and a love for learning. Your actions can inspire and motivate your daughter to follow suit.

Remember, building a supportive and empowering relationship with your daughter is key to helping her thrive and succeed.


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STUDY: Nagging Mothers with High Expectations Raise Successful Daughters - What Does It Mean For You?

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