Stubborn and rule-defying children? When they grow up they could become rich


Is it a constant challenge with your child? He is only 10 years old but is he always ready to challenge the rules, be it the time set for watching TV, the time set for bed, or the way to be at the table? Of course, all of this can be very tiring, but from now on you can console yourself by thinking about the future, because this attitude could be the key to your child's success in life. And for its ability to earn a lot. To say this are the results of a study published in the journal Developmental Psychology and referring to the history of over 2800 children in Luxembourg followed for more than 40 years: from when, towards the end of the sixties, they were about 10-12 years old, at the end of the two thousand years.

Various personal and family characteristics of those children had already been carefully described, from the IQ to the socioeconomic status of the family, to some personality characteristics. More recently, psychologist Marion Spengler, now at the University of Tübingen, and her colleagues went to see what they had become and what they had achieved, in terms of school career, employment success and earning capacity. Trying to link those characteristics back then with today's results.

Some data that emerged from the study are confirmation of already known observations (and also of simple common sense). For example, the fact that the level of education achieved is associated with the intelligence quotient (IQ) and the socio-economic condition of the family. Indeed, it is not much of a surprise that a child with a high IQ and well-educated parents is more likely to graduate than a child with a low IQ and parents living in disadvantaged conditions. Likewise, the correlation between academic success and studiousness: It is obvious that spending time on books allows you to achieve better results at school than spending all day in front of the TV or on a bike ride. Furthermore, it was already known that the level of education correlated with occupational success.

Low self-esteem makes you less

However, the study showed that the level of education and job success may also depend on other factors, very closely related to personalities of individuals. So, for example, Spengler and colleagues saw who has low self-esteem and feels inferior to others also tends to achieve inferior academic results. "It's a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy," the authors wrote. "You feel inferior, you behave as if you really are, and the results don't come." (Read: 7 Tips For Raising Safe Babies)

Those who challenge the rules are more competitive (and tend to shine more in school)

But above all, psychologists have observed that success, at school and at work, can also be linked to a particular attitude of some children: that of challenge parental authority and challenge the rules. As for the school, this probably depends on the fact that the more "challenging" kids also tend to be more competitive and to shine more in tasks that involve interaction between peers.

Compared to work, the main success relates to earning capacity: in other words, we have seen that stubborn, disrespectful children tend to earn more when they grow up. It is not yet clear why this happens. It may be that these children are naturally more inclined individuals to defend their interests, and therefore to expose themselves and struggle more when it comes to negotiating compensation. But neither can it be excluded - the authors specify - that these individuals earn more because they are more likely to find unethical ways to do it.

In any case, even if the prospects for the future appear rosy, for the parents the problem remains of being able to survive the daily struggle with these "strenuous" children. In fact, there is no fixed rule, generally everyone finds their own strategies. In an article published in Time to comment on the results of Spengler and colleagues, however, the journalist expert on family issues Donna Gorman offers her recipe: always keep communication open. "Always listen to your children and always ask for explanations on their point of view. Maybe, while they talk you can identify some weak point in their reasoning, on which to leverage to bring them to your side. Or you can discover that they are right in the end. Or again, negotiate. However, clarifying well in advance what happens if the new rules are broken again ".


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  • stubborn children
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