Disobedient Children Are More Successful Later In Life [Study]

Disobedient children may be in danger of getting a lump of coal from Santa Claus each holiday season, but when it comes to life, they are winning.

That’s at least according to the findings of a new 745-child study originally reported in Development Psychology.

Apparently children with brat-like qualities go on to make more money than their more obedient counterparts.

According to a report from Yahoo!’s John Johnson, researchers at the University of Luxembourg, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the Free University of Berlin came to their findings after tracking data on 745 people in Luxembourg from the ages of 12 to 52.

What they found is that disobedient children, or kids who defied authority, ended up making more money as grownups, in large part due to their bratty tendencies.

“Rule breaking and defiance of parental authority was the best non-cognitive predictor of higher income after accounting for IQ, parental socio-economic status, and educational attainment,” the study read.

The “occupational success” of each child was measured “using an index that ranks careers based on prestige and socioeconomic status,” Quartz added.

Researchers were not certain why it worked out the way it did, but they speculated that rebellious types “might be more aggressive when negotiating salary or raises, and they might thrive on competition more than their peers,” the Yahoo! report stated.

Furthermore, they “might be more willing to break the law or at least engage in iffy behavior to boost their income.”

That’s at least if they make it to adulthood without one of their peers, or a teacher, or a restaurant patron whose had it with their snotty behavior strangling them first.

If you are concerned that you are the parent of disobedient children, don’t fret. There are some things you can do to work the situation out to your advantage.

For starters, consider encouraging the positive aspects of their rebellious behavior.

Yes, it may be hard to believe, but there are some hidden pluses in bratty behavior. For example, part of what may be motivating them to be disobedient children is the desire to be the best or outdo a peer or opponent.

If that’s the case, you could foster that competitive spirit and teach them to do their very best and celebrate victories without making others feel bad about themselves if they’re on the losing end. You should also teach them that things do not always go according to plan, and when failure comes, it’s really just a stepping stone to a bigger triumph down the road.

Secondly, focus their behavior on more constructive outcomes.

Your disobedient children may be that way because they don’t feel challenged enough by school or work or their extracurricular activity of choice.

Boredom can lead one into trouble, but if you can teach your child to be in control of their actions and seek out tougher challenges, then the qualities that get them into trouble can actually help them to achieve great things. And that brings up the last thing you should consider.

Encourage entrepreneurship.

In the Luxembourg study mentioned above, one of the big reasons that disobedient children often go onto bigger things is that they are more ambitious.

Entrepreneurship is the perfect lifestyle for such individuals because it leads one to set the terms, as much as possible, by how they live their lives.

If your child seems to be causing more trouble, consider starting a small side business with them. Giving them a constructive goal like making money their way will foster their confidence and guide their more rebellious qualities.

Do you think there is truth to the idea that disobedient children are more successful? Sound off in the comments section.

[Image via ShutterStock]