If you feel like your entire life is spent trying to convince your child to do the simplest things, this is an article you need to read.
It turns out that there’s a new research indicating that kids who are stubborn are more likely to succeed.
Now, I was feeling pretty good about these findings, being famed in my family for my own stubborn nature, something that followed me long after childhood. Stubborn to a fault was the term most often used, with my parents readily putting forward hundreds of examples of that, just in case I wanted to (stubbornly) argue the point.
So, imagine my surprise when research released by the Developmental Psychology journal indicated that a stubborn nature actually put me ahead of my peers, instead of behind them arguing that I definitely didn’t need to brush my hair before school. The research shows that a stubborn nature isn’t just good at making parents want to strangle their children, it’s also a great indicator of how successful that child will be later in life.
The Study In Question
The Developmental Psychology study followed just 700 kids, but for several decades of their lives, starting at around 9 and checking in again when they were in their 40s. At the beginning of the study the researchers did in-depth personality tests on each of the children, looking at different traits that were most prevalent and obvious in their natures. When they checked in with them later in life they were able to give us a pretty good idea of the traits that were more related to professional success in adulthood.
And who came out on top? Well it turns out that the kids who exhibited the most defiance to their parents and tended to break the rules (a.k.a. stubborn kids) were the ones with the biggest salaries and best job prospects.
How Does That Happen?
Well to be honest, the study was a little vague about just how these stubborn, strong-willed children ended up living the high life in their adulthood. However the researchers do make suggestions that stubborn children are more competitive in a classroom environment, which gives them better grades, and that they’re more demanding in the workplace, allowing them to secure a better financial standing than their peers. Of course there’s no saying that it wasn’t their rule-breaking attitude that put them so far ahead, in an illegal sense that is, but we’re trying to stick with the positives.
Is My Child Stubborn, and Do I Want Them To Be?
Let’s be honest here, you’ll know if you have a stubborn child. A stubborn kid is strong-willed about most things, and they fight hard on those instinctual reactions, even if it makes no sense. They’re fighters for their own cause, sometimes at a cost to themselves or those around them.
However, this isn’t the first time that stubborn kids have been given a certain ‘tick of approval’ by the experts. Many therapists suggest that strong-willed children are more likely to do what they believe is right, instead of following the herd, and that if they’re pointed in the right direction they can make great leaders. But they can be a challenge to parent, and often find themselves in conflict situations because of their strong opinions, leaving parents trying to figure out where battle lines should be drawn.
So What’s The Verdict?
The study, while it is particularly entertaining and offers hope for parents who are at their wits end, doesn’t take into account a lot of variables. There’s not a lot of mention of career paths, or other choices that the participants made during their lives that impacted their careers. Still, it’s clear and widely accepted that personality traits give a better idea of success than metrics like IQ, so the results still have some validity.
In other words, if your kid demands the bigger cookie, refuses to eat green vegetables because they are poisonous and has strong opinions about the necessity of underwear, you might be onto a winner.