Learning how to argue effectively is not for everyone: when emotions go wild, it’s hard to resist the transition to personalities and politely, but persistently argue your point of view. But this is a very useful skill. Expert “Oh!” Psychologist Anna Skavitina has come up with 14 rules that will help parents teach their children how to argue. By the way, adults can also come in handy.
If you turn on the TV and watch a little reality show or political debate, you can easily find many successful examples of how people cannot agree among themselves, do not know how to defend their opinions with the help of rhetoric - the art of speech or the art of managing our mind, the basics of which are presented humanity is still the ancient Greeks. They use their fists, water each other with water, scream loudly, give illogical arguments, don’t hear the other person and, as a result, lose. And how often do you hear the annoying: “Mom, buy it!” After watching a toy advertisement and get lost, not knowing what to counter with marketing tricks and advertising moves? Or do you succumb to fake information on social networks, emotionally reacting to “ten abandoned shepherd dogs that will be euthanized tomorrow”, putting your logic out the door? It seems that in order to raise children more civilized, to protect against scammers and to take care of their safety, it is worth teaching them to argue and verify information. But will this not complicate the life of the parents, on whom the children, of course, will begin to practice actively? And although many parents dream that the children just listen and do what their mom and dad tell them, learning how to argue effectively and defend their opinions depends on how successful the children are and whether they can achieve what do they need.
Studies by EEF, the English foundation for education, showed that only two-month intensive courses in teaching children effective skills for arguing and listening to the interlocutor increased the academic performance of students in language and science and advanced them faster than the control group that did not participate in “dialogue learning”. Teachers asked open questions and encouraged children to think, reason, relate what they heard and read, discuss what was said with classmates, and not just give an answer from a textbook.
Basically, children learn to argue by copying the methods of their parents. Researchers at the University of Virginia recently examined the arguments that 13-year-olds and their moms and dads used in disputes. Most of them focused on the following topics: grades, work, money, and friends. Parents responded better to arguments related to these topics. Some mothers and fathers rolled their eyes in a dispute with children, others shouted or simply stopped the discussion, some parents listened to the point of view of their teenager and encouraged a calm discussion. When the researchers again interviewed these same adolescents between the ages of 15 and 16, they found that they use the argumentative methods that they learned in disputes when looking at their parents in social interaction with their peers.
The rules of a good argument
Teaching children to reason can provide them with the tools they need to withstand peer pressure as they get older. Teens who learned to calmly discuss differences with their parents felt more confident disagreeing with friends, especially with regard to alcohol or drugs. In fact, the study showed that these children are 40% more likely to say “no” to illegal behavior and unreasonable offers of their peers than children who did not argue with their parents. Children who were not taught to argue and were not allowed to do this, as a rule, were less confident in their interaction with peers and, thus, were more likely to passively agree when they were offered drugs or alcohol.
The skill of making reasonable arguments allows a person to be more likely to be heard, even if he does not get what he wants, and acting in the process of education is a way to convey the necessary information to the child and at the same time teach him to rely on logic.
For example, which of the statements will the child react more positively and which one will teach logic?
“Put on your hat immediately, because I am your father, and I told you!”
“Take your hat, it's colder outside than yesterday.” I don’t want you to miss a meeting with friends because of illness.
Of course, you should not expect that young children will immediately defend their point of view with the help of logic, but they can gradually learn this. Whether they can be persuasive in the future depends largely on the parents and the environment.
Here are a few rules, following which you will help your child learn to defend his point of view:
Stop the argument if the child is angry. First you need to cool down a bit. “You're angry right now. It’s hard to make reasonable arguments when you're angry. Let's calm down a bit, then continue. ” If emotions are the driving force of an argument, all arguments cease to be effective.
Offer to talk about your goal, desire - and give arguments why you should agree to do something, buy, organize together and so on, that is, why the goal is a great idea and opportunity.
Listen to the arguments and repeat them so that the child hears himself.
Agree or ask for additional arguments. Be sure to say it out loud.
Explain that arguments must respect all sides of the argument.
Explain what logic is with examples: “I want to eat a chocolate bar now, it’s so beautiful, I won’t give it to my brother” or “I want to eat a chocolate bar now because I’m hungry, and it is made from carbohydrates. And my brother already ate his part, so only mine remained. ”
Point out the inconsistency: “Let her free my part of the table, she’s stupid, she’s bothering me!” - “That is, she should free your part of the table, because she’s stupid?” - “No, because she occupied her without asking!” - “She can ask and leave everything as it is?” - “No, I need her to release her immediately, since I have nowhere to do my homework!” - “So you are sitting down to do homework, but your place is taken by your sister, would you wanted it to be free? ”Logically.
Teach more effective arguments: “Do you want dad to immediately help you with math? But now he is busy cleaning - and was going to go see a movie. Maybe you can offer him help with cleaning in exchange for help in mathematics? ”
Learn empathy. If you understand what the other side of the dispute wants, it will be easier to understand and convince the interlocutor.
Explain the difference between struggle and argument. To argue and win in a dispute means that the interlocutor has at least partially changed his consciousness, attitude to the issue. For example, if you hit your fist, you can win the fight, but will it change the opponent’s beliefs on the necessary issue? Not. So, the win did not take place.
Explain that to be persuasive, you need to be aware of the person’s point of view and tell why you think your solution is better, but not offend the opinion of the other person to whom he is entitled. Point out specific facts that logically show what your decision or opinion is superior. “Are you an idiot if you think so?” Is an argument that certainly won’t lead to victory. “You have a different opinion. Tell me in more detail why you think so, and I'll tell you why I have such an opinion, okay? ”
Help the children see the situation more voluminously. For example, when you watch an ad, ask if you were convinced to buy the thing that was shown on TV? What arguments were given, are they logical enough?
Provide children with the opportunity to express their point of view on any issue, be interested in their opinions, their arguments.
Let them win the debate if their arguments are convincing. Do not be afraid to lose your parental authority. He will only win if the children understand that you hear them.
You will be surprised how quickly children learn to argue according to the rules and defend their point of view, how convincing they will be in disputes with you and in school debates. I think this will give you many reasons to be proud of them, not only now, but also in later life.