7 GOOD Habits That Help Nurture Your Child's Love of Debating - Point Avenue

7 GOOD Habits That Help Nurture Your Child's Love of Debating

7 GOOD Habits That Help Nurture Your Child's Love of Debating

Debate has long been an academic sport that sparks interest in many parents and students. With debate, children learn the art of self-expression, develop critical thinking and enhance information processing skills. Teaching children how to debate respectfully from an early age, therefore, plays an important role in their future success. Here are 7 habits that parents can apply to nurture their children's love of debate.

Active listening: 

This is of the utmost importance that parents can do for their kids. In international debates, even professional judges are not allowed to use electronic devices while the debaters are giving speeches. That is to say, kids' confidence will be enhanced if they notice their parents actually pay attention to what they are saying.

Note taking: 

Kids may only be able to speak for 1-4 minutes. However, for detailed and constructive feedback, parents should get in the habit of noting down the main ideas so that they can 'quote' their child's words accurately before making any comments. 


Respect your kid's protected time: 

In debate, depending on the format, each student's speaking session lasts 6-8 minutes. During this time, judges, and spectators are not allowed to interrupt for any reason so as not to affect the contestants' emotions and flow. This is called 'protected time' - when your child has full freedom to share and voice his opinion.

Respect your kid's arguments: 

Although sometimes those arguments sound silly and unreasonable, parents should show respect and recognition. One of the mistakes that adults often make in their child's learning, especially in the early stages, is applying their logic on children. 

Give positive feedback: 

Positive feedback from parents plays a very important role in nurturing children's love of debating skills. There are 3 judging categories used in World Schools Debating Championship (WSDC) including Content, Strategy, and Style.

Ask open-ended questions 'Why' and “How to”: 

The following suggestions will encourage kids to think deeply:

  • Thinking about stakeholders
    • In your opinion, which individuals and groups will be affected by this issue?
    • Who do you think will be violated if this law is passed? Are there any minority groups that have been severely affected?
  • Think about the impact
    • How will this affect that target group?
    • What are the positive consequences/effects in the short term? After 10, 20 years?
    • If there is an adverse effect, can the effect be repaired? 

Keep an open mind and allow freedom to express their ideas: 

A debate class, even the most dramatic one, must be held in a safe, respectful environment - where kids feel free to express their ideas without fear of being judged. Otherwise, they will lose their confidence and interest in debate.

*Jonathan S. McClelland, Debate Pro Junior

Learn more about Debate-Intensive Summer Camp 2022 at Point Avenue: https://bit.ly/SummerDayCamp2022