Dealing with a temper tantrum when you’re running late can be one of the most frustrating parts of being a parent. Your child doesn’t want to eat her breakfast, and you’re too tired to explain why she can’t have cookies and ice cream to start her day. Her arms are folded and she won’t budge, no matter if you’re already half an hour late.
Luckily for you, this scenario may be a sign your child could grow up to be a CEO.
According to research published in a 2015 edition of the journal Developmental Psychology, kids who defied their parents or broke the rules often go on to be high-achieving and high-earning adults. Here are some signs your child might successful when she grows up.
She demands to know why
“Why can’t I stay up late?” “Why do I have to wear this?” “Why does my room need to be clean?”
Many children pout when parents tell them they have to do something they don’t want to do, but the children who demand an explanation might have an advantage. They question their circumstances and challenge the status quo.
“Because I’m your mother, that’s why” isn’t sufficient for them; they need to know why the rules are as they are. If they think the rules make sense, they’ll find solutions to make them easier (like cleaning their rooms faster or keeping them clean longer). If they don’t agree with the rules, they’ll fight against the injustice. This teaches them early on how to stand up to the norms that will try to hold them back.
She calls out double standards
If your parent lies about your 6-year-old’s age to get a 5-and-under discount, your child will ask why you can lie but she can’t. She also doesn’t understand why she has to treat her parents differently if you warn “don’t tell your father.”
If she has to follow a rule, she needs to know that it’s a fair rule for everyone to follow –– especially people she trusts, like you. A successful leader expects the highest standards for herself as well as for the people around her.
Some adults never take the time to develop their own thoughts. They’ll nod blankly when you’re talking, they’ll never vote, and they always agree with what their friends are saying without reading the whole story.
That’s not your stubborn child. If she decides she doesn’t like carrot sticks anymore, she’ll find new reasons to support her claim. Maybe she has decided she doesn’t like the color orange, and if carrots are orange, she can’t eat them.
Her logic might not be the most reasonable at this age, but the process of questioning why she doesn’t want something or why she absolutely needs a new toy helps her become a critical thinker.
She picks her battles
You’ve told your child she can’t leave time-out until she says she’s sorry, so she stays in her time-out corner until the sun goes down. If she spends her energy pouting about something all day, that something must be important to her. A stubborn child is willing to sacrifice playtime, snack time, and seeing her friends to get her point across. That determination will help her find her priorities as she grows older.
She stands up for herself
Nothing gets by a strong-willed child, and that behavior carries into adulthood. As kids grow older, they learn discipline and good manners, but the urge to speak up for themselves when they know it’s important only develops with the most persistent children.
Kids will change their mind or give up on fights they know they won’t win eventually, but for the kids you who stand up for themselves until you meet them halfway, you can expect great things.