Any parent who has ever had to endure the seemingly never-ending temper tantrum thrown by a toddler, whether out in public or in the comfort of a home knows how frustrating they can be. There can be any number of reasons for a toddler to throw a tantrum, such as hunger, tiredness, their socks not matching, their favorite toy is missing, or their snack being served in the wrong container. There's no rhyme or reason to toddler tantrums and they seem to be just a natural part of childhood. The good news is that a new study is showing that those pesky toddler tantrums that make you throw your hands up in frustration may be an indicator of future success.
Toddler tantrums and strong-willed tweens who like to break the rules and not listen often get a bad rap, but according to a study published in Developmental Psychology, those could actually be the traits that will set your child up for future success. Researchers studied a group of 745 12-year-olds in Luxembourg beginning in 1968.
Grades, intelligence, characteristics such as entitlement and responsibility, their behavior at school including whether they were considered 'rule breakers', as well as their parents' socioeconomic status, were all examined as part of the study. Forty years later, when the group of subjects was 52, researchers followed up to see if their behavior as students was a predictor for their success as adults.
While those that were considered 'studious' as twelve-year-olds were found to have achieved success as adults, often holding jobs considered the most 'prestigious' those who were found to be the most economically successful were the 'rule breakers.' Although the researchers state this was a “surprising finding” they did suggest a theory as to why those who were deemed rule breakers during their youth ended up being so successful.
"We might assume that students who scored high on this scale might earn a higher income because they are more willing to be more demanding during critical junctures such as when negotiating salaries or raises," they wrote. They also suggested those who were considered 'defiant' when they were younger may "also have higher levels of willingness to stand up for their own interests and aims, a characteristic that leads to more favorable individual outcomes—in our case, income."
So the next time you find yourself battling your threenager and their latest temper tantrum, remember that their strong-willed and defiant nature could serve them well in the future!