How to prepare your child for a debate

debate skills Allow children to develop an opinion at an early age. (Source: Dreamstime)

Having opinions and a point of view is essential for developing a strong personality. And it’s best to start when you’re young! Participating in debates is a great way for children to polish their communication skills. Public speaking, like debates, extempore and speeches, help kids express themselves and develop their thought process. Not just this, it helps to boost their confidence as well. In order to help you hone your child’s debating skills, here are some effective tips.

Start when they are young

Start when they are young. Help your child become confident and expressive by discussing simple topics and seeking their point of view. You can discuss television shows, topics in the news, etc.

Pique their interest

In order to make it interesting for your child, start by giving the topic of his/her interest. Like pros and cons of using plastic, how Mahatama Gandhi helped India, why cutting trees is not good, pros and cons of having a pet at home, etc. It will encourage the child to participate. Also, they will remain engaged in the activity. Practicing at home will give them first-hand experience of what a debate is.

Allow freedom to express their ideas

Don’t interfere when your child expresses his/her views. Let them openly express what comes to their mind. It will help in developing their thinking skills and thought process. Also, it will give you a glimpse of the direction of your child’s thinking.

Help them understand ‘For Or Against’

In order to make your child’s side strong, help them in knowing both the aspects of the topic. It will help them to put their thoughts forward in a better way. They will also be prepared in advance to answer the opposition.

Strengthen their facts

It is essential to know the facts correctly. Help your child to do a detailed research of the topic and make their facts clear. You can share your ideas with them, help them to explore the internet, ask opinion of others to make the research relevant. It will help them to put their point forward in a structured way. They can also prepare rough drafts or notes of the points they want to highlight. This will help your child gain bonus points.

Fix their body posture

Our body posture and dressing sense matter a lot when we participate in a debate. Guide your child on the right body posture, like standing tall and being alert, learning how to move their hands, making eye contact with the audience and the opposition team, etc. Also, make sure your child is nicely dressed, preferably in formals, with well-combed hair, polished shoes and so on. It helps to give a positive as well as a long-lasting impression.

Guide them on how to proceed in an argument

Last but not the least, teach them on the value of being polite during a debate. Though debating is about putting your strong views and thoughts forward, it is not about fighting, but being firm. Thus, help your child in putting their views forward with ease. They should also know the right time to speak and also when to listen.

Helping your child earn debating skills will not just make them good speakers but also train them to become good listeners.