When I was growing up, my mom had a rule: No TV until you finish your homework. At the time, I thought it was pretty unfair. My favorite show was on and I could always do my homework later. But my mom wasn’t being mean. She was trying to help me succeed, of course. And back then, parents all seemed to agree that studying hard was the ticket to success. Now, there are a lot of theories: studiousness, IQ, emotional intelligence, grit, team sports… Everybody has an opinion. But a new study published in Developmental Psychology claims to have found the one quality that almost guarantees success. What is it? Something no parent would ever guess — or hope for.
Researchers checked children’s personalities at age nine for traits like studiousness, responsibility, and patience, and a bunch of other traits. Then, they checked back at age 40 to try and discover which trait predicts professional success.
The result? If you’re a parent, you might want to look away.
You know when you take your daughter out for a bite and she won’t eat because she wanted spaghetti with sauce on the side, but the waiter forgot, so she’s staging a one-person hunger strike?
That’s it, right there. Stubbornness!
It turns out stubbornness isn’t all bad. As blog Fatherly puts it: ”If your kid always demands the bigger cookie, they’ll probably grow up to demand the bigger bonus.”
Time magazine put it this way:
“The authors postulate that such children might be more competitive in the classroom, leading to better grades. They might be more demanding as adults; when locked in salary negotiations, they may be the ones who demand more. They may be more willing to fight for their own financial interests, even at the risk of annoying friends and colleagues. The authors can’t rule out a more negative reason– these young rule breakers might be doing something unethical as adults to increase their grown-up salaries.”
Of course, stubbornness doesn’t guarantee your child will become a happy adult. But this research just might help you get through yet another argument the next time your two-year-old refuses to wear pants.
Share this with all the parents you know who might need a pick-me-up as they struggle with their children’s terrible twos and beyond!
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