“Don’t raise your voice, improve your argument.” – Desmond Tutu
We can all agree that children ought to build and develop their personalities. We want them to be confident with high self-esteem, well-spoken, knowledgeable, socially friendly, and compassionate, among other things. And the onus is on the grownups around to guide them in the right direction.
In order to help them become individuals who can think for themselves, their style of expression can be encouraged. Speech and debate is one such activity that helps them become an all-rounder. Whether your child works best as an individual or is extroverted by nature, speech and debate can be great ways to help them learn how to interact with others in the most effective way possible.
One might think that delivering a speech or debating is a natural talent but that’s not entirely true (yes, there are exceptions). A child can always learn the art and skill of public speaking and put up a healthy argument. It’s just a matter of identifying their interest in the activity and grooming them accordingly.
Apart from enrolling them into a good online course for kids, as a parent, here’s how you can uplift the spirit of speech and debate in your child –
Stimulate their interest in various topics
Include a number of topics in your conversations and understand which ones get them going on and on. From talking about the environment to food, there is no dearth of what could interest your child. Be it sports or nature or food or history, anything could be a distinguishing factor for your child.
Help them structure their thoughts
A debate or a speech has a structure – reasoning, evidence, listening, prioritization, and delivery. Get them to talk about their favorite things based on the structure. That way, when the time comes, a debate or a speech might be easier than they would have originally perceived.
Learning the other side
Any debate has two sides. And learning the other side of the debate would help kids strengthen their own side of it. This helps in a major life lesson – always listen to the other side of the story. It’s necessary to let them know early on that nobody has the patent to the truth.
The basics of being respectful
A debate is not a fight. It is not about belittling someone else’s point of view to win. Teach them the importance of being respectful to their opponent because it can be easy to get carried away in the flow of things.
Grooming is essential
Standing up in front of people will help your child learn the importance of being well-groomed and presentable. Posture, body language, etiquette, and tonality are equally important, if not more. These aspects of public speaking will help children in their later years.
All said and done, we must not forget that not all children might want to get up on a stage and talk in front of a crowd of people. Expressing in public is for some kids while expressing in writing or some other mode of expression is for others. Let’s not generalize what is accepted or what isn’t. However, if your child does show qualities of showmanship and oration even, encourage them to take a dip in the ocean of speech and debate and watch them swim towards fulfilling success.