When psychologists at Kansas State University began delving into health data gathered on 13,000 adults and children, they discovered a gene that may be the reason some children become rule breakers as they are growing up. This gene, DAT1, appears to lead to mild rule breaking in children and adolescents and astounding leadership qualities in adults. Does this mean rule breakers should be left unbridled so their natural leadership “genes” can carry them into adulthood with success?


Breaking Rules is in Teens & Young Adults Genes

When a child of any age is breaking the rules or going against authority, they are essentially testing the waters to see what they can get away with. Many psychologists now believe this could mean they are the type of person to take greater risks, which is often a crucial attribute of becoming successful in any type of business venture. While this may be exciting news for psychologists, it doesn’t help a parent who is struggling to keep their teen or young adult in line and prevent them from making catastrophic mistakes that could place them on a path towards trouble. So, how can parents allow their older children to express this gene while keeping them bridled enough to prevent them from becoming troubled teens and young adults?

Do Teen and Young Adult Rule Breakers End Up More Successful?

It is crucial teens and young adults learn there are consequences (both good and bad) to every decision they make. While it may be tempting for parents to micromanage their child and keep them from experiencing the pitfalls of life, this can actually backfire and cause greater issues. While a parent needs to create strong boundaries for what is acceptable and what is not, they also need to allow their child to make mistakes by breaking the rules. For this to work, the parent cannot be there to catch their child every time they fall.

Parents must create balance in making sure their older child follows the rules but is also allowed to challenge themselves and others when appropriate. By building a firm foundation of trust and a strong parental bond, parents can help to foster “rule­breakers” without encouraging them to become so rebellious they defy all types of authority to their detriment. When rule breakers seem to be struggling with becoming self sufficient young adults, further intervention may be needed.

At the Crossroads works with young adults from all walks of life. For whatever reason, these young people are experiencing issues with the transition they must make from their teen years to adulthood. We offer residential therapy for a variety of mental health constraints that are causing these young people to feel powerless in being able to approach life independently.

Our program strives to give young people the independent living skills they need so they can leave our program ready to pursue their career and an independent life that is lived without limitations that can cause negative behaviors to arise. We believe most young adults have the ability but simply lack the focus and direction which is why our program becomes so vital to their success.

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