Studies Say Stubborn Children Are More Likely To Turn Into Successful Adults

Date November 2, 2018 16:36

There is some good news for parents battling with strong-willed kids. According to a recent study, these children grow up into successful adults.

For most parents with more than one child, there is usually that one kid that tests your patience more than the rest. From the time they were toddlers, they pushed the limits and this did not get better as the years go by. These are the kids that defy you well into their teenage years and make you want to pull out your hair in frustration. But then, this study says you should hang in there, that it will pay off eventually.

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In a 2015 study published by the American Psychological Association, children who defy authority are more likely to become academic overachievers and high-earning adults.

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The research was conducted by analyzing children between the ages of eight and 12 years old. Such traits as academic conscientiousness, entitlement, and most importantly, defiance were assessed.

Forty years later, the researchers looked back on this earlier data to see how they had become as adults.

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It turned out that those who were rule-breakers as kids evolved into adults who earned a high income.

The study itself did not offer an explanation as to why there was a correlation between stubborn children and their later success. However,  the strong-willed personality of these children might make them more competitive in the classroom, leading to better grades.

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Also, as children become adults, they are probably the ones most likely to be more demanding when it comes to such scenarios as salary negotiations and they would fight harder for their financial interest even if this meant offending or annoying friends and colleagues.

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Clearly, these qualities that may be annoying in children become very beneficial as adults. So, the next time your stubborn child looks you dead in the eyes and do the one thing you told her not to do, take a deep breath and remind yourself, "this kid will probably be somebody's boss someday."

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But since we all know taking deep breaths doesn't always work, here are a few tips for dealing with a strong-willed child.

  • Listen to them. Arguing with a stubborn child will get you nowhere, Be the adult and take the time to hear what they are telling you.
  • Instead of forcing them to do something, connect with them. Ensure you are communicating and not just ordering. They respond best to the gentle approach and they rebel when they feel forced.

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  • Give them options. Say, for instance, you want your child to turn off the TV and go to bed. Instead of just giving directives, give her options. Tell her it's bedtime and ask if she would rather read storybook A or B. She may insist she's not going to bed, but calmly let her know that that isn't one of the options. Be persistent until she gives in.

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  • Speaking of staying calm, this is an important aspect of communicating with strong-willed kids. No matter how frustrated they make you, don't give in to yelling as that usually makes things worse.

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  • Watch your attitude. It's possible that your child inherited his spirit of determination from you. But does he copy your attitude? Do you say 'no' a lot or argue everything with your significant other. Kids do what they see so watch the examples you set for him.

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You can raise a strong-willed child without killing their spirits while also encouraging their courage and strength.

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