Want to raise a successful daughter? This might be the key

Want to raise a successful daughter? This might be the key

Tiger moms may be on to something, at least according to new research that revealed mothers who set high standards and preach the value of hard work end up raising more successful daughters.

The study from the University of Essex in England found that teenage daughters of assertive moms were more likely to advance, compared to their peers who were raised by less strict parents.

“In many cases, we succeeded in doing what we believed was more convenient for us, even when this was against our parents’ will,” said Ericka Rascon-Ramirez, lead researcher, in a press release. “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.”

Researchers studied the lives of 13 and 14-year-old girls for over a decade. The results show that girls raised by strict mothers were:

  • less likely become pregnant as a teenager
  • more likely to attend college
  • more likely to earn more money
  • more likely to find a successful partner.

The study also found that having an assertive mom was particularly effective among the least academic teen girls, who often do not receive as much attention in school as their academically minded peers.

“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,” said Rascon-Ramirez.

Sarah Katula, an advanced practice nurse specializing in psychiatry at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, Ill., says mothers who have clear expectations of their children are demonstrating responsible parenting and should not be viewed as “nags” or “pushy.”

“Mothers who demonstrate having goals, achieving them and taking care of themselves, while also expressing expectations for their daughter, will have better outcomes with their daughters because they have role modeled that success. Women who go to school, work and set goals will show a value set to their daughters that they often intrinsically think is ‘just what you do,’” says Katula.

However, if a teen develops anxiety, depression or starts acting out, those could be signs that they are feeling too much pressure and may need to reprioritize and possibly scale back their activities, says Katula.

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One Comment

  1. But at what cost? Did this study look at factors concerning anxiety and other mental health features? Sure, you can make other people do what you want them to do, but not without cost to their mental health. If your child’s financial future is more important than her mental health and you don’t mind the possibility of suicide at an early age, sure Tiger Mom away.

About the Author

Johnna Kelly
Johnna Kelly

Johnna Kelly, healthe news contributor, is a manager of public affairs and marketing at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn. She is a former newspaper reporter and spent nearly 10 years as a public relations professional working for state and county government. During her time as a communications staffer for the Illinois General Assembly, she was integral in drafting and passing legislation creating Andrea's Law, the nation's first murderer registry. In her spare time, she volunteers at a local homeless shelter, enjoys traveling, photography and watching the Chicago Bulls.