Rule-Breaker? Or Potential Multi-Millionaire?

Does your middle school kid get called to the principal's  office just about every other week?  Does he not come home from a friend's when you tell him?  Does he let his homework pile up until teachers warn you he's about to fail?

If this is your son, don't worry, says a new study, according to He may just be the next Steve Jobs.

Not that anyone's recommending you commend your kid for breaking the rules.  But the study, conducted in Germany and Sweden over about 20 years, found that boys who pushed the boundaries often -- but didn't break the law -- often started their own businesses, and were pretty successful.

The study followed 1,000 children from 10 years old to adulthood, Tyler Falk reports, and describes the rationale as the success possibly having "its roots in adolescent rule-breaking behavior.”

Researchers initally thought they'd find that successful entrepreneurs lacked a moral compass -- you know, only out for themselves.  They also expected to see them engaged in criminal or anti-social behavior. But, shockingly, they found none of this.

According to the AlphaGalileo Foundation, in those who turned out to be very successful, "The urge towards transgressive behavior was clearly present in adolescence."
However, “This doesn’t lead to the conclusion, that in adulthood the rules have to be broken serially and that anti-social behavior will be de rigueur,” Dr. Martin Obschonka from the Center for Applied Developmental Science at the University of Jena observed.

The study found that adolescents who flaunt rules and openly defy authority often had more vision and imagination than kids their age who didn't.   I have a very conforming child (read: boring), who follows the rules and gets nervous when I don't (I have to sneak juice back on a nearby shelf so he doesn't lecture me about returning it to the right one). 

He's been a joy to raise but sadly, I'm not sure I have the next Steve Jobs on my hands.


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