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. (By the way, the best moms in the world have this one trait in common.)
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.
“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.”
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.
Sure, avoiding those classic teenage downfalls doesn’t guarantee that your daughter will become the next Google executive. But it certainly seems to set the stage for success down the road. (And if you teach your child these three languages, you’ll basically be raising a future CEO!)