Want to Raise Successful Daughters? Science Says Nag the Heck out of Them

Researchers in the United Kingdom say parents who have high expectations for their teenage daughters and are not afraid to vocalize their expectations… a lot, is one important factor in predicting whether young girls grow up to become successful women.

As a university press release put it: “Behind every successful woman is a nagging mom? Teenage girls more likely to succeed if they have pushy mothers.”

Nag more, fail less

The researchers at the University of Essex found that girls whose “primary parent” consistently displayed high parental expectations were far less likely to fall into the traps that made girls less likely to succeed in life.

Specifically, these girls were:

  • Less likely to become pregnant as teenagers.
  • More likely to attend college.
  • Less likely to get stuck in dead-end, low-wage jobs.
  • Less likely to have prolonged periods of unemployment.

The researchers, led by PhD candidate Ericka G. Rascon-Ramirez, studied the experiences of more than 15,000 British girls aged 13 and 14 over a 10-year period.

Of course, nagging is not fool-proof and doesn’t guarantee that your daughter will grow up to be successful.  But it does mean they’ll be more likely to preserve their opportunities to succeed later.

And when does the nagging stop? When your child’s success becomes much more a factor of their desire and work ethic than yours.

Rolling eyes? That means it’s working