Researchers from the University of Essex say that nagging your daughter is not only the right thing to do, but it might also be critical to her success later on in life.
The University of Essex spent 6 years looking at the correlation between a daughter’s success and the kind of standards her “main parent” (usually Mom, according to the study) set for her. What they found is pretty darn interesting.
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They Claim a Nagging Mom Equals Successful Daughter
Their paper says that when a mom has high expectations for her daughter, that daughter is more likely to do well in her life. She’s less likely to experience teen pregnancy, more likely to go to college and then get a better paying job after graduation.
Why would that be? Apparently the more you “nag” about the things she should do, the more likely she is to try to live up to your standards.
I’ll be honest. I have a real problem with the word “nag.” I picture a cartoon woman with curlers in her hair, screaming at her husband to get away from her ironing board. In this context, it’s not meant as a nasty, grating behavior designed to gain control of someone.
Moms and daughters routinely argue about nagging.
Daughters don’t exactly love being reminded to do something, change something, or work harder at something. (Neither do sons, by the way.)
In fact, they sort of hate it. “Stop nagging me! Why are you being so pushy all the time?” You were a kid once. Did you love it when your parents told you what to do and how to do it? You didn’t, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t work.
What the researchers claim is that girls who have a mom who is paying attention, staying plugged in and communicating her expectations to her daughter, do better in life.
Be the nagging mom who sets the bar high, and lives by example.
Encourage her, lift her up, and be as pushy and intrusive as you need to be when the situation calls for it. Ask questions about her grades, her classes, her friends, and anything else that plays a part in her life.
Your sweet girl can get happy in the same pants she got huffy in. (Did your parents used to say that to you, too?) Reminding her to make good decisions, get her work done, and believe in herself is a gift you can give her that she won’t be able to appreciate until she’s a mom someday.
Holding her accountable is not the same as being mean.
There is no need to be mean when you remind your daughter that her report is due in one week and she needs to get going. You shouldn’t hurt her feelings, or belittle her, or break her spirit when you’re trying to help.
Don’t lob low-key insults at her in order to “motivate” her. The last thing you want is for her to believe that somehow she’s not good enough or smart enough to get things done.
On the contrary, be sure she understands that she’s important, and loved, and smart, and you’re still going to push her hard in spite of how much you love her. In fact, it’s because you love her that you do have to be pushy sometimes.
Even when they roll their eyes, your expectations really do matter to your daughter. She may not even know it yet. Doesn’t matter. You know it.
Are you a pushy mom?
Share your thoughts with us. Why do you nag? How do your kids handle it? It’s always interesting to hear different parenting perspectives.