Dealing with a very stubborn child can be an extremely frustrating situation for any parent. While many parents are busy fighting with their kids about putting away toys or eating vegetables, others may be concerned that this stubbornness could hold a child back in the future. While parents always have the right to be concerned, recent studies show that there could be a link between stubbornness and future success.
Stubbornness is a trait that is often first identified when a child is just a toddler. While a parent will try and teach respect to a child at a young age, it will always prove to be a challenge to get a stubborn kids to listen to you. This trait will then continue well into the teenage years and even into adulthood.
A 2015 study completed by the American Psychological Association has found that there is a link between childhood stubbornness and future professional success. The study ended up following a variety of children between the ages of 8 and 12 and rated them on a variety of characteristics including entitlement and defiance. The study then waited 40 years to see how the children turned out in adulthood and the results were astounding.
The study was able to conclude that the average child that was considered to be stubborn was far more likely to be successful in their careers than the average person. The study did not give an exact reason for the results, but there have been a variety of conclusions made as to why stubborn kids may be more successful.
One of the main benefits of being stubborn as a child is that it will make them more competitive in all aspects of live, including in the classroom. Those that are competitive in the classroom will try hard and will then get better grades. This will then lead to getting into a better college and eventually getting a better job.
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.”
While there are situations in which being stubborn is clearly an advantage, it still is a characteristic that needs to be controlled. Most stubborn people will end up learning the hard way that it is not always a good idea to be closed-minded. So, the next time your stubborn child looks you dead in the eyes and do the one thing you told her not to do, take a deep breath and remind yourself, “this kid will probably be somebody’s boss someday.”
But since we all know taking deep breaths doesn’t always work, here are a few tips for dealing with a strong-willed child.
#1 Listen to them. Arguing with a stubborn child will get you nowhere, Be the adult and take the time to hear what they are telling you.
#2 Instead of forcing them to do something, connect with them. Ensure you are communicating and not just ordering. They respond best to the gentle approach and they rebel when they feel forced.
#3 Give them options. Say, for instance, you want your child to turn off the TV and go to bed. Instead of just giving directives, give her options. Tell her it’s bedtime and ask if she would rather read storybook A or B. She may insist she’s not going to bed, but calmly let her know that that isn’t one of the options. Be persistent until she gives in.
#4 Speaking of staying calm, this is an important aspect of communicating with strong-willed kids. No matter how frustrated they make you, don’t give in to yelling as that usually makes things worse.
#5 Watch your attitude. It’s possible that your child inherited his spirit of determination from you. But does he copy your attitude? Do you say ‘no’ a lot or argue everything with your significant other. Kids do what they see so watch the examples you set for him.
You can raise a strong-willed child without killing their spirits while also encouraging their courage and strength.