Blue Suit Mom

Why Challenging Kids Can Become Successful Adults

Little GirlIf you have just told your child for the millionth time that (choose at least one) he must do his homework, she must wear a coat when it is 32 degrees outside, she must go to bed or he needs to get down from the refrigerator, you are probably ready to tear your hair out.

Although it might be hard to believe when your precious child is being as stubborn as a mule, this obnoxious character trait has been found to lead to success as an adult. In fact, other challenging personality profiles like defiance and rebellion can help create adults with a flair for entrepreneurship when combined with other, more positive factors.

Studies Back up the Theory

Researchers from the American Psychological Association tracked 700 kids for decades, beginning when they were 9 years old. Each child’s personality was studied at the start of the study, with the scientists looking at traits like defiance and conscientiousness. Over the next 30-plus years, the researchers worked to determine which traits were linked to professional success.

In general, stubbornness is a good predictor of adult success, including higher salaries. In a way, this makes a lot of sense. These bull-headed kiddos can often be more competitive in the classroom, which leads to higher grades. Once they enter the workforce, they may be unwilling to accept low-paying jobs and will hold out for the better positions. They might also be more likely to fight for bonuses and raises.

Other Reasons Rebellion Leads to Success

Your child who is constantly pushing your buttons and arguing over the rules is more likely to become an adult who will question authority and tradition. Rebellious grownups who refuse to go along with the status quo can become successful in business. In addition, people who tend to bend the rules are often found to be more likeable, which comes in handy when networking. On the flip side, having an attractive personality, albeit a stubborn one, is not typically associated with negative and anti-social behaviors.

How to Channel These Traits in a Positive Way

As a parent, you have every right to insist that your stubborn kid follows the rules and regulations of the house, especially the ones related to his or her health and safety. However, it is also possible to find ways for your children and teens to use the underlying positive side of stubbornness to their advantage.

For your younger kid, encourage her to tackle hobbies and interests that are both enjoyable and a bit challenging. Praise her when she finishes the massive LEGO set or gets through a 300-page book.

For your teen who is ready to get his first job, suggest freelance work that will let him set his own schedule and think outside of the box a bit. If your teen gets a more traditional job at a place like the grocery stores or a restaurant, encourage him to ask for better hours or pay rate, especially if he is getting consistently positive reviews.

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