Nagging moms raise more successful daughters, says science

Parents, don’t worry: Your daughter does listen to your nagging, despite the eye-rolling and slamming doors. And it really works! According to science, not only do kids get their intelligence from mom, but there’s one more thing we can thank mother dearest for: our success.

A study at the University of Essex tracked the experiences of over 15,000 British girls aged 13 and 14 for six years. Researchers found that high parental expectations led to adolescent girls’ success later in life. In fact, when the “main parent”—usually the mother—set steep standards for their daughters’ education, those girls were more likely to attend college, take better-paying jobs, and avoid teen pregnancy.

Why? Experts say that communicating high expectations to your child will make them feel more inclined to live up to those standards. On the other hand, if no one pays attention to their performance, they are more likely to slack off.

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Celebrities and their look-alike daughters
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Celebrities and their look-alike daughters

Kaia Gerber and Cindy Crawford

(Photo by Laura Cavanaugh/FilmMagic)

Reese Witherspoon and Ava Phillippe

(Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)

Katie Holmes and Suri Cruise

(Photo by Alo Ceballos/GC Images)

Goldie Hawn and Kate Hudson

(Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)

Kim Zolciak-Biermann and Brielle Biermann

(Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)

Gwyneth Paltrow and Apple Martin

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Christie Brinkley and Sailor Lee Brinkley-Cook

(Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic)

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“In many cases, we succeeded in doing what we believed was more convenient for us, even when this was against our parents’ will,” Dr. Ericka Rascon-Ramirez, who led the study, said. “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.”

Another study in Pediatrics found similar results, though they weren’t specific to just mothers and daughters. The study assessed how various factors, including parental expectations, influenced children’s rates of success. When it came to standardized testing, 96 percent of the high-scoring students had parents who expected them to attend college; only 57 percent of the lower-scoring students could say the same. As one of the study authors, Neal Halfon, summed up, “Parents who saw college in their child’s future seemed to manage their child toward that goal irrespective of their income and other assets.”

Of course, strong test scores and going to a good school don’t guarantee that your daughter will become the next Google executive. But making your expectations for your child’s success known certainly seems to set the stage for success down the road. Looks like nagging just became one of the essential rules for raising teenagers, boy or girl. After all, a little “I told you so” never hurt anyone.

Of course, though, there is still a reason nagging has a negative connotation. “There is a difference between [incessant nagging and] imposing rules, setting guidelines, teaching values, [and] establishing goals,” says Dr. Sanam Hafeez, a New York City neuropsychologist. “When parents nag too much, children decide they can’t do anything right so they might as well stop trying…Children and teens will make mistakes. If you must nag, pick your battles carefully.”

So while some nagging behaviors might be beneficial, make sure you’re mixing it up with these little ways to encourage your child every day.

The post Nagging Moms Raise More Successful Daughters, Says Science appeared first on Reader's Digest.

8 PHOTOS
Hot celebs with even hotter moms
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Hot celebs with even hotter moms

Selena Gomez's mom Mandy Teefey gave up nearly everything so that her daughter could pursue her dream of becoming a star. The two look as close as ever at the premiere of their passion project, "13 Reasons Why."

(Photo by Allen Berezovsky/WireImage for Fashion Media)

Liv Tyler's mom Bebe Buell was once a model -- and we can totally see why! Liv also tried following in her mom's footsteps but decided to make the switch to acting when she was 36.

(Photo: Getty)

Paulina Gretzky has been making headlines for her exceptionally good looks and it's clear she got it from her momma! Janet Jones, who is married to hockey great Wayne Gretzky, could pass as Paulina's sister!

 (Photo: Getty)

Malin Akerman and her mom, Pia Akerman, share a lot of the same features, including their gorgeous smiles!

(Photo by Imeh Akpanudosen/WireImage)

Who's who?! Yolanda Rivera (L) and Naya Rivera (C) could definitely pass as sisters. They're pictured here celebrating Naya's birthday at 1 OAK Las Vegas, so it seems like momma also likes to get wild.

(Photo by Denise Truscello/WireImage)

Maria Joao Brewster (center) was a swimsuit model. The gorgeous Brazilian beauty definitely passed on her good looks to her two daughters, including actress Jordana Brewster (left)

(Photo by Billy Farrell/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

We can only dream to look as youthful as Jennifer Lopez at 47, so its no surprise that her mom Guadalupe Rodriguez looks totally ageless. We need to know this family's secret to the fountain of youth!

(Photo by Alessio Botticelli/GC Images)

Jennifer Lawrence's mom, Karen, definitely passed on her good looks to her daughter. The "Hunger Games" star definitely inherited a lot of features from good ole' mom.

(Photo by Alexandra Wyman/Getty Images For Grey Goose)

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