Pester power! Daughters with nagging parents are more likely to succeed

Attention all pushy parents with daughters. If ever you felt guilty for your nagging ways, consider yourself vindicated.

UK researchers have revealed the high expectations you have of your daughter – and your dedication to constantly reminding her of them – is just what she needs to be successful later in life.

University of Essex researchers, led by PhD candidate Ericka G. Rascon-Ramirez, looked at the experiences of more than 15,000 British girls aged 13 and 14 for a period of 10 years.

Of those, the girls with a “main parent” constantly nagging them about their high expectations were less likely to become pregnant teens, stuck with a low wage job, experience long-term unemployment, and were more likely to attend college.

Mums are the most likely to nag

The study also claims mothers appear to be the parent with the greatest nagging power.

Even the press release from the university was titled: Behind every successful woman is a nagging mom? Teenage girls more likely to succeed if they have pushy mothers.

“The measure of expectations 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,” the study says, as reported by the Daily Mail UK.

No avoiding high expectations

Researcher Rascon-Ramirez told the Daily Mail UK even when the girls achieved success in areas against their parents wishes, there was no denying the influence a strong parental voice had over personal life choices.

“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,” Ms Rascon-Ramirez says.

“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.”

Pushy parents unite

Personally, I have no doubt my beautiful mum’s nagging, and even that of my very dear and very opinionated nan, had a huge part to play in my choices growing up – everything I did was about making them proud.

For me, it was less about the pressure to choose a certain career, and more about choosing the right path and making smart choices along the way.

But, it most certainly wasn’t very subtle – I can still hear my mum’s voice saying, “Just don’t come home at 15 and tell me you’re pregnant.”

Then there’s my good old nan, who never held back from applying the pressure: “I would have given anything to have had a good education; don’t waste this life, my girl. Before I die, I’ll be sitting front and centre when you graduate from university.” And she absolutely followed through on that promise.


Did you have a pushy parent, or do you predict you’ll be one?

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