Have you seen or heard those ads about a self-help program you can purchase “if you have a 11 to 17 year old male child who is displaying defiance or opposition?”
Go ahead and do it, if you want to zap his developing manhood.
U.Va. research: Arguing kids could have benefits
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) – Though parents have been teaching their children not to argue with adults for generations, new research from the University of Virginia shows that young teenagers who are taught to argue effectively are more likely to resist peer pressure to use drugs or alcohol later in adolescence.
“It turns out that what goes on in the family is actually a training ground for teens in terms of how to negotiate with other people,” said Joseph Allen, a U.Va. psychology professor and the lead author of the study, results of which were published in a recent edition of the journal Child Development.
Allen said that parents are often “scared to death about peer pressure,” but also frustrated by argumentative children.
“What we’re finding is there’s a surprising connection between the two,” he said. Allen noted that teens “learn they can be taken seriously” through interactions with their parents.
“Sometimes, it can be counterintuitive to tell parents to let their teens argue with them,” said Joanna Chango, a clinical psychology graduate student at UVa who worked on the study. In fact, learning effective argumentation skills can help teenagers learn to “assert themselves and establish a sense of autonomy,” she said.
The article goes on to state that the study finds that teenagers who argued with their parents also had the presence of mind to reject the peer pressure of illicit drugs.
This may not seem sensible on its face, but when you look at the inverse of this, the the original contention becomes much more clear. A teenager who is too much of a doily or dillweed to argue with his or her parents because he or she is a go along to get along type (or has been raised to be that way) will apply his or her go along to get along attitude when the gang of bad kids comes a’callin’.
Another reason to encourage and not discourage rational argumentativeness in your teenager is that when he or she starts, he or she is starting to think for him or her self, and is becoming a political adult, the point at which he or she starts developing opinions apart from his or her immediate domestic influences. Yeah, their opinions might be half-baked at first, (and largely influenced by the leftist media or educational system), but you can’t get to full baked without passing past half baked.