To nag or not to nag, that is the question that has troubled probably any mother that ever lived, and dramatic teenage girls’ reactions to nagging aren’t making this decision any easier.
Luckily (or sadly), mothers can rest assured that their at times annoying preaching actually helps their teenage girls in making the right decisions as far as their education is concerned, as a study from the University of Essex shows. It also helps them to make better choices in life in terms of getting well-paid jobs and avoiding teenage pregnancy.
Pushy moms had it right all this time
According to the study conducted on 15,500 teenage girls aged 13 and 14 between 2004 and 2010, this does not go on to say that a child of a nagging mother is much more obedient and will approve of every piece of advice she is given, but quite contrary, that a child will, on a somewhat subconscious level, remember mother’s advice when it comes to making important decisions and do the right thing.
It does not necessarily mean that a child completely understands and agrees with the advice, but it is more about them not wanting to listen to the same story. “In many cases, we succeeded in doing what we believed was more convenient for us, even when this was against our parents’ will. 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. 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”, says Ramirez.
It seems that there is an upside to having a strict mom as the study findings show. Girls with more pushy dominant parents, are four per cent less likely to avoid getting pregnant in a teenage period than the girls of less controlling parents. The former girls are also more likely to go to university and strive for better careers and salaries.
Having a nagging mom proved especially beneficial for girls lacking academic aspirations who, not getting support from teachers or friends, only had their moms’ lectures to follow.
Best of both worlds
Yet, the study shouldn’t be taken as an excuse for mothers to turn into strict, authoritative figures with no compassion or understanding. A slightly more balanced approach should be considered instead.
Yes, parents should make sure that they instill right values with their children growing up, but the approach doesn’t need to be aggressive. Instead, they should serve as examples of happy, healthy and accomplished human beings and their children will have great role models they would want to look up to.
When parents work together with their kids on building their confidence and self-esteem, they can be more relaxed knowing that they would choose what’s in their best interest, in any given situation and won’t let insecurities or peer pressure influence their decisions.
Parents sometimes fail to see that there isn’t a single set of standards and aspirations each person should follow and by trying to make their children think and act a certain way, they are actually doing them more harm than good. True, there are certain general rules that lead to a more fulfilling life, but the trick is to slightly alter the approach. Instead of constantly measuring their children’s successes to higher standards, parents would actually help them more if they taught them how to be the best they can be and find their own way by doing what makes them happy.