The study doesn’t explain why there is such a strong correlation between rule-breaking youngsters and high income in mid-life. 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.
So how do you know if your child is strong-willed?
Strong-willed kids have strong gut reactions that they’ll battle for even when it’s illogical, say professional therapists. They go after what they want at any cost.