Why do REBELLIOUS CHILDREN tend to be EXTREMELY SUCCESSFUL in life as opposed to

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  1. gmwilliams profile image85
    gmwilliamsposted 10 years ago


    who don't EVEN achieve the SUCCESS LEVEL that the former does?  Many noted celebrities e.g. Vanessa L. Williams and Madonna stated in their biographies/autobiographies that as children and teenagers, they were always breaking their parents' rules.   Madonna routinely stated in interviews that she loved the push the envelope even as a child.   Vanessa stated that whenever her parents, particularly her mother would tell her not to do something, she did the EXACT OPPOSITE because it was FUN.  These actresses had personalities which made them beat the odds and naysayers thus becoming successful!

  2. nightwork4 profile image61
    nightwork4posted 10 years ago

    i think it's because they refuse to follow and would rather lead. by having this attitude, they are willing and able to walk over an obstacles that get in their way.they don't have the fear of failure because to them it's just another challenge to beat.

    1. gmwilliams profile image85
      gmwilliamsposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Vanessa Williams stated in interviews that she has always said yes when other people told her no.   She stated that NO ONE is going to tell her how and when.   She always stated to the negators that they have no idea what she could do and achieve!

  3. Theophanes profile image92
    Theophanesposted 10 years ago

    There's two reasons. The first is that rebellious children tend to be gifted (they need that extra mental stimulation to be happy and grow) and two obedient children are more or less trained to be satisfied with their position in life and are usually content to take orders from above. Rebellious adults ask "why?" and then usually try to find some way to bend or rewrite the rules which gives them an obvious edge in finding their own more unique path. That being said not all rebellious children grow up to be successful. That largely depends on how they're rebelling and a good dose of luck!

    1. gmwilliams profile image85
      gmwilliamsposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      To Nightwork and Theophanes, both answers are totally spot on and righteous!   I totally LOVE both answers!

  4. profile image0
    Sunnie Dayposted 10 years ago

    I do agree many rebellious children are gifted and so intelligent in many ways.

  5. lburmaster profile image75
    lburmasterposted 10 years ago

    Rebellious children often go through that moment where they learn from the mistakes that they made earlier in life. However, other rebellious children just gather a following and become famous for it. Also remember, both of them did not just become famous for their rebellious sides but also for their appearance and abilities. Obedient children will always do what their told, stay on the side lines, and never lead anyone. They are followers because that is all they have done. If an obedient child was allowed to lead, they would have a panic attack because they would not know what to do.

    1. gmwilliams profile image85
      gmwilliamsposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Iburmaster, you are so right.   Obedient children have no color so to speak.   They are also unremarkable and just fade into the shadows.  Rebellious children are leaders and they are highly individualistic souls who KNOW what they want!

    2. profile image54
      Clementine8posted 10 years agoin reply to this

      All children are remarkable and have colour. if the world was made up of rebels than who would lead? We need leaders and followers (with their own ideas) to make the system work. Not everyone can be Bill gates or Madonna smile

  6. Melissa A Smith profile image98
    Melissa A Smithposted 10 years ago


    The answer to your question is that for starters that isn't even true.

    For one thing, rebellious teens outnumber non-rebellious teens because it's practically in their biology to be rebellious. A rebellious personality is also up to interpretation because many teens may think they aren't but every sub-adult stands up to their parents every now and then. Vanessa L. Williams could have perceived herself as 'rebellious'. The idea of teens ignoring their parents in some situations in the name of fun is pretty typical. In fact, many teens who believe they are not rebellious are just crafty in hiding their tracks from their highly discerning parents.

    And, since you've used celebrities as an example, I must suggest that even though (your definition of) successful people are in the minority, people owing their success to celebrity-dom are in the minority of successful people. The numbers of rebellious teens aiming for this 'profession' have far higher rates of failure than success, because the industry is dependent on first and foremost, luck, and then they should have a personality that resonates with a trend or some other socially-desirable factor. Celebrities thrive on this far more than actual talent.
    There are many intelligent 'obedient' musicians who need to be so in order to master their craft, such as with classical and jazz music. These superior music forms often will not garner their players "success". I don't know if John Coltrane was 'obedient' or not but despite being brilliant I highly doubt he was rolling in dough and gaining notoriety to the extent of Madonna and Lady Gaga. The rules of the universe suggest that a smaller minority will 'beat the odds' indefinitely and it's most likely up to luck for some talented few who will appeal to a wide audience. Sometimes talent isn't even a prerequisite, but a boisterous extroverted personality who can make the right friends in the right places.

    1. gmwilliams profile image85
      gmwilliamsposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      LOVE your take on the question.   Excellent analysis!  I was one of the crafty teens you have described!

    2. tsadjatko profile image66
      tsadjatkoposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      "Take on the question"? Truth is the question puts forth a premise that has no scientific support whatsoever and to any scrutinizing reader is totally false (rebellious=prison). What is amazing is how many answer it as if it were a true statement.

    3. profile image54
      Shaktivaposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      'superior music forms'? That's preference, not a fact.

  7. profile image0
    Old Empresarioposted 10 years ago

    I think it goes a little deeper than that. Intelligence, interest, drive, and focus are things that lead to success as much as anything. I have trouble thinking of anyone I have known personally who was particularly rebellious in their youth and teenage years who turned into a success. Certainly, we can point to a lot of famous people as examples, but they make up a very, very small fraction of the population.

  8. Trish303 profile image76
    Trish303posted 10 years ago

    Because there will to push the limits, ask why, or break rule. They always want to lead and be the boss. They will so never take no as answer just something to work around. They have the I'll show you attitude.

  9. profile image51
    seventhsageposted 10 years ago

    I personally think it plays to what equals success.  Brings to mind people like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.  The risk takers, the ones who had an idea and went for it.  Bill gates dropped out of college to work on a technology that basically didn't exist at the time.  Steve Jobs created an empire from his garage.  Both were notorious rule-breakers, and in some cases, law breakers.  (the free phone call scam was particularly spectacular).  The same type of mindset that leads to "just what can I get away with" will serve you better in life than "sit down and do what I'm told".  Personally, I've always believed it's easier to ask forgiveness than permission, but I was never really a rule breaker, mostly because my mom was rather lenient, not many rules there to break.  I think that plays into it too.

    1. gmwilliams profile image85
      gmwilliamsposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      I want to add something.  It is the rebellious ones who also create history and will be remembered.   Those who are obedient by nature NEVER make history and fade into oblivion.   The WORST thing parents could teach a child is OBEDIENCE!

    2. profile image54
      Clementine8posted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Gates was a genius. Most who drop out of high school wont reach his level. What I think needs to change is education so we teach children how to create their own ideas and pursue them instead of teaching them to be compliant and unimaginative.

  10. nevilriker profile image60
    nevilrikerposted 10 years ago

    I think you're working under a false assumption. Success built on notoriety can go very badly. Both of the celebrities you mentioned have had great success but have also fallen from grace and faced ridicule for their actions. I think most successful people are born of drive and discipline. Doctors and lawyers and great artists have spent their entire lives developing skills taught to them by others.If  they weren't  obedient during this learning phase they would never have been successful.

    1. profile image54
      Clementine8posted 10 years agoin reply to this

      I agree. Our society is structured around obedience and if people dont follow rules then the majority of them fall through the cracks. I have many "rebellious" students and I know life will be difficult for many of them, sadly this is our society.

  11. Beata Stasak profile image84
    Beata Stasakposted 10 years ago

    Humans are too complicated to be put in the boxes so there is no easy answer to this question, that simplifies our human behaviour and tends to lead us to the misleading conclusion: misbehaving children always grow up to successful adults. As a teacher of children with behavioural problems I can honestly say it is not always the case. Humans responses change over the time and some of rebellious children become successful later in life as well as some of obedient children become successful as well.....there is more to us than just our behaviour, that is often just our response to a particular situation...

    1. gmwilliams profile image85
      gmwilliamsposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Not talking about misbehaving children but children who are bold and love to push the envelope so to speak.   Misbehaving and other types of delinquency are problematic behaviors which should be addressed by parents and authority figures promptly!

  12. profile image54
    Clementine8posted 10 years ago

    In the school system we force children to be compliant. All children are born creative with amazing imaginations but as they go through the school system their ability to create and have their own ideas is crushed. They are constantly told they are wrong, to colour between the lines and to act in a certain way. Spirited children are often labelled as ADHD when they wont comply. If teachers fosters childrens natural creativity imagine what the world would be like. All children could grow to become entrepreneurs of things they enjoy instead of plebs in jobs they hate. We dont want children to be obedient, we want children to learn what is wrong and what is right and then make an informed decision on their own. This is learning and this is how children become successful in life!

    1. gmwilliams profile image85
      gmwilliamsposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Clementine8,  I totally concur!    Schools do teach children to become automatons who grow up to be drone worker bees.    Schools do not teach learning but inane memorizaton which is no good for all involved!

    2. profile image54
      Clementine8posted 10 years agoin reply to this

      gmwilliams...It starts with preschool, believe me I know I am a teacher and it breaks my heart. I have 3 year olds who say they can't draw, all children ask the same question everyday at news time, there is no imagination! I worry for the next gen

  13. dianetrotter profile image64
    dianetrotterposted 10 years ago

    While there are examples of people who have are extemely successful even though they were rebellious, I don't think statistics support the position.  As a high school teacher, I see many, many rebellious students.  I suppose it depends on what you classify as rebellion.

  14. europe-travel profile image60
    europe-travelposted 10 years ago

    "self training" in issues helps them out later on as they are self motivated.

  15. rouilliewilkerson profile image60
    rouilliewilkersonposted 10 years ago

    I suspect that this isn't a rule by a long shot, and that obedient children just don't make enough mistakes to learn from them to excel in a competitive world?

  16. profile image54
    Shaktivaposted 7 years ago

    Real rebellion (not just say no for the sake of saying no) but because you are unjustly treated, restrained, do indicate your (creative, intellectual) needs transcend your environment.
    Creativity, intellect can't be confined and be content with it.

    It's their creativity, talent and often their enduring personalities.
    Having personality can also be creative, an art.

    Obedient children follow what's given, have no unique thought, taste of their own (that may change later in life or not). They can only, at best, reiterate what others have said or done.

    Though none of the ones you mentioned appeal to me personally.
    Vanessa Williams had the looks, talent and the scandal to propel her.
    So did Madonna, to say they were a doormath once, seems to undermine their treading to the top. No rooster admits he was an eggie once. Until he has to.


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