Next time you get stares in the grocery store because your child is..ahem…not behaving, don’t be embarrassed, be smug. That defiant, spirited bundle of joy may be your future meal ticket. Research suggests these children are more likely to succeed later in life, at least financially.
The research, published in the journal Developmental Psychology, looked at data from 745 12-year-old children in Luxembourg from 1968, including teacher and child questionnaires and socioeconomic indicators, to how they were doing 40 years later in 2008.
Not shocking, “occupational success” (measured by prestige and socioeconomic status) was closely correlated with family wealth and IQ. But “rule-breaking and defiance of parental authority” was the best predictor of highest incomes.
Here are five possible reasons disobedient children make more money as adults:
1. They’re More Aggressive
More aggressive folks, tend to ask for what they want. If they believe they deserve a raise, they will ask for it.
2. They’re Highly Competitive
The age-old notion of “nice guys finish last” may actually be true. Defiant children also tend to be more competitive and therefore more willing to fight for what they want. In this dog eat dog world it quite literally pays to be competitive.
3. They’re More Willing to Take Risks
It takes guts to risk it all and follow your dream. Entrepreneurs tend to share a certain set of traits, including risk-taking, that make them successful. That same kid willing to scale walls and jump off the back of couches, might just be the next Zuckerberg.
4. They Learn The Hard Way
Refusing to accept the status quo, defiant kids challenge authority and try to find answers themselves, rather than accepting what they are told. They might not always be right, but failure is a big part of success too.
5. Perseverance Has Perseverance
Spirited kids may learn how to talk their way into or out of precarious situations. They want what they want and will stop short of nothing to get it. This early learned skill of challenging, pleading, negotiating and bargaining may lead to some serious selling skills down the road.