Are Kids Learning to Argue Bad?

Since the beginning of the 21st century, kids all around the world have gotten more eager to learn how to argue and persuade others which some believe to be bad and some believe to be good.

Kids have found the pressure to be controlled more and more imminent and because of this, most children find it imminent that they should learn how to argue. By learning to argue, youngsters are contributing to a future society, full of educated and independent thinkers. Once kids learn to argue, most are immediately infused with a want to question everything and prove it for themselves. According to Sara Zaske, “when her daughter was five, she had issues with her two close friends and was ‘de-friended and uninvited to distant future birthday parties dozens of times’” (Lifehacker).

This is like what kids in History learn about for the Enlightenment period. Before the Enlightenment, people just explained puzzling things through religion, but when the Enlightenment came about, people realized this flaw in human reasoning and felt that all the things that were dismissed using religion needed to be re explored. While people in that time learned to question things later in life, kids are improving upon their ancestors and learning that urge to gain knowledge and question things for themselves.

Researchers from University of Virginia recently ran a test of arguments between 157 13-year-old and their parents. They concluded that many of these arguments stemmed from grades, social life, money, friends, etc. Basically the things that you would think a stereotypical 13-year-old is involved with. The study also demonstrated that the parents reaction to the kids’ argument was a dead giveaway of whether or not the kids would be good arguers when they grew up. Some parents dismissed their children while others encouraged it (MNN). Image result for Kids arguing with parents

When interviewed at ages 15 and 16, the children demonstrated that the social skills they learned to use on their peers came from their arguments with their peers.

The arguments in which the parents stayed calm and encouraged their children to argue turned out to be the ones that played a key role in the subject’s willingness to disagree with their friends. The study found that in reality, the children who were lucky enough to have these circumstances were 40% more likely to say “no” to their peers.

Today, kids in classrooms, such as English class, are required to write persuasive papers. The vital skill is already recognized as one that every kid needs. It is essential for later endeavors. These essays can sometimes change the world too. There are many instances where teen’s papers are used to sway opinions and be very influential. According to Edutopia, writing such papers “allows them to share their views, ‘but they have to prove them in a way that’s supported by argument and reason'”.

Some, such as parents who don’t like arguing with their kids, believe that it is bad for kids to argue. However, studies show that this is not based on fact, and instead the opposite. While it is agreeable that kids learning to argue is not always good, depending on HOW you do it, it can be a good skill for kids to have. According to Chris Sperry, who directs curriculum and professional development for Project Look Sharp, “The question isn’t whether we should or shouldn’t teach students to be better thinkers and better citizens, it’s how we do it”.



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1 Response

  1. Suzie C says:

    I agree. You should be able to argue, but in the right way. Very well written article, by the way!

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