If You Nag Your Teen, Will She Be a More Successful Adult?

by Karen Schwartz
Originally Published: 

“Harassing your daughter about finishing up her homework may not thrill her at the time,” it went on, “but she’ll thank you later in life.”

I couldn’t help but click through.

The piece went on to describe the results of a study conducted by England’s University of Essex. From 2004 to 2010, researchers “followed the lives” of 15,500 girls aged 13 and 14 and “found that the girls with moms who set higher standards for them growing up were more likely to go on to college and earn higher wages.”

“These same girls were also less likely to become pregnant as teens, too,” the article said. “So maybe a little nagging isn’t so bad after all?”

I was baffled. Who were these 15,500 girls? And what did high expectations have to do with nagging?

A couple more clicks and I came to see that the study’s findings, which were presented at the conference of the Royal Economic Society, showed that parents with high expectations can reduce a teenager’s chance of becoming pregnant by 4 percent compared to parents with “middling aspirations.” The benefits of what the Daily Mail dubbed “pushy parents” were most marked among the least academic teenagers, “who often have no friends or teachers willing to encourage them.”

In other words, parents who give a shit are more likely to have kids who go on to give a shit.

So, moms: keep giving a shit!

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