Your Stubborn Child Is Actually a High-Achieving Adult

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If you’re the parent of a stubborn child I’d bet you would tell me how exhausting it can be. Everything’s an argument! There is good news though. Turns out that your stubborn child is more likely to be a high-achieving adult and possibly even earn more money in their career.

The Benefits of Have a Stubborn Child

A stubborn child is a blessing.

For sure they can be a handful. Oh my gosh. Have you ever tried to talk a child who hates peas into eating peas? It’ll be the worst 12 hours of your life.

I know there are parenting experts that know how to easily get a stubborn child to put on their shoes or stop touching their brother. Too bad I’m not a parenting expert.

My feeling is that a lot of those hard-headed qualities make for a safer, more well-adjusted kid. They are not followers and they don’t do things because someone told them to.

Those are traits I would choose to foster in a child. The idea that my child could not be talked into doing something they shouldn’t is comforting.

What science says about a stubborn child.

In 2015 researchers studied what happens to these kids when they’re adults. Will they still scream when someone asks them to eat an egg or cuts their sandwich the wrong way?

Is there a good chance that at the age of 42, they’ll still be trying to run out in traffic because they refuse to look both ways?

Well, we hope not.

What the research found was that a stubborn kid will likely be more high-achieving and earn more money as an adult simply because of their stubbornness. In fact, they say that stubborn streak is even more influential in that regard than their IQ or what the socioeconomic status of their parents was.

That’s a big deal!

Is your child stubborn?

If you daily have to deal with a small human in your house who makes you wait forever while they tie their own shoes, you can recognize stubbornness from a mile away.

You don’t need a quiz to find out whether or not your child is stubborn, right?

They’re bossy, but incredibly self-aware. They know for sure what they want and what they don’t want, and they aren’t easily swayed.

They’re curious and questioning. They want to know why and without a good why, they’re just not that into doing what you want them to do.

“Put your hat on.”


“Because it’s cold out?”


You know the drill. They can go on as far as your patience will allow with the why questions.

Tell me not to do something, and I will do it twice and take pictures.

Parents probably shouldn’t try to break a child’s stubborn streak completely, but instead figure out how to outsmart it. They have to be taught when it’s good to be stubborn and when it’s not.

After all, you don’t want them to go too far and turn into a child no one wants to be around.

Rather than always punishing them for the behavior you see as out of line, try some positive reinforcement where you can.

In other words, brag on your child for getting out the door for school on time and talk less about how wrong it is to keep you waiting.

Be consistent. What’s okay on Monday can’t be wrong on Tuesday. It’s confusing for any child, but especially so for a stubborn child. It’ll lead to lots more questions!

What are your tips for dealing with stubbornness in your kids?

Do you feel good about them having a little stubborn streak? Do you find that it bothers you more than it does other people? Kids are often way better for other people than their own moms. 

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