Tue 17 Mar, 2015 03:09 pm
I received an email about a special discount on a debate workshop for your middle schooler.
Is it me, but isn't this the last thing you would want your middle schooler to attend? They debate you enough ... do really really want them to get better at it?
FWIW, I first attended a debate team when I was 13...8th grade. Much younger than that...I don't know. As a parent, you still need some sort of edge, right?
Unless she's looking at a career in law, I would toss it. Somehow, I don't think my parents were subjected to anything like this.
Mmmm. Have to think about this. I'm mixed and some of that is emotion, some reason, but hard to pinpoint which lands where. I have liked, and still do, people on a2k who are good debaters. I could name names on a small number of fingers, and I don't include myself.
I was born in late '41 and told early that sassing my parents was a confessable sin, something to do with honoring. I was shy. I didn't learn how to argue in either grammar school or high school; not much about questioning either. I had an early college year at a catholic college, and those nuns were, uh, sharper than my high school ones. I recommend them, if the college is still there. Then I went to ucla, and my world enlarged. There were lectures with explanations about who thought what and why; at least in some smaller classes, room for discussion. Not every lecturer was great, in memory, but I remember thinking that there was nothing I couldn't learn there, an emotional take, but real.
To this day, I'm not into rampaging squalling arguments, though I'm not pure on that. At a2k, my general way is to say what I think, not to convince others.
However, underneath that, there is a current of arguing in my mind about what I think. That is usually in motion.
So, from my own perspective, I think learning to debate is a good thing.
On the other hand, I figure two year olds saying 'no' are not yet informed enough to be debaters.
I don't know about the middle. I think reasoning is a good thing to latch onto early, but sureness can get in the way of learning.
That's my worry ... she likes to debate everything now...why the heck would I want to give her a skill like that?
We have no danger of my daughter not being able to argue a point or questioning us or being shy...not even close. It might be deadly for us as parents if she were to learn debating and excel at it. She already is too good at it for her age.
As I speak..or write...said middle schooler is debating with her daddy.
But other people have children who have no clue how to argue well, without obvious rage, because of raging parents, or, as in my case, silent parents.
I'm moving for being for there classes in debating, except I wonder where they'd find teachers.
If you knew my daughter you would be for a class on being an introvert.
Hehe! My parents had no choice. My brothers and sisters insisted I get involved. I was happy with that outlet for my mental energy. I remember debating capital punishment. This was around the time of the best-seller "In Cold Blood". The man who ran this debating team was a lawyer.
I think of it like putting kids who have excess energy into martial arts. It's about discipline and appropriate outlets.
In the case of debate clubs, it's about intellectual/mental/emotional discipline. A good thing to my way of thinking.
but a one-off workshop? that seems like a waste of time and energy
I don't know enough about those..
I recommend debate team from an early age, and I wish I'd done it in school.
Like ehBeth said, it teaches mental discipline in situations of conflict, much like the verbal equivalent of a martial art.
Kids argue, but there's more to debate than arguing. There's the research element, right?
reply to self, those might be a good idea.
Good point - I still don't want to have her beat me though - right now I have an edge.
It is one thing that I can no longer stuff her in basketball, it is another thing when I lose the mental game with her.
Different that she beats me in sports, than I lose in a debate and end up with a pony.
Debating is a sport. I did it in high school. It doesn't anything to do with family relationships. In debating you are making academic points about the death penalty or whether we should build a moon base. Family interactions happen within a set of emotional dynamics and deal with bed time and clothing choices. They aren't at all the same thing.
I promise you, debating won't do anything to change daughter's relationship with you, any more than soccer or baseball would.
I think you should consider it the way you would consider any other sport. Does she enjoy it? I agree that one workshop isn't that valuable unless she plans to take up debating as an activity.
I would add that one thing that is good about debating as a sport is that it forces you to be able to take any side of an issue. You don't get to choose your side, and to be successful you need to be able to make points about something that you don't actually believe. Being able to see both sides of an issue is a good life skill.
If your daughter bests you in an argument, maybe it's because she's right and you're wrong.
My daughter is always right... but I was too when I was her age.
I am never wrong. Ask any mommy.