I was an active debater through my school and college years and I’m also trying to get my children interested in debating. The cover story ‘Empowering children with debate skills’ (PW November) was very relevant and interesting. Encouraging children to debate from young age helps them develop into articulate communicators and decision-makers.
I want to share five tips that helped me immensely in my debating days. They are (i) prepare well and stand by your opinions (ii) research for authentic facts and figures and weave them into your arguments (iii) voice modulation helps convey conviction (iv) avoid putting on a fake accent (v) remain confident and calm throughout the debate.
It was a delight to read a full-fledged cover story on the art of debating in the latest issue of ParentsWorld. Having participated and won several debating competitions in school and college, I strongly believe that debating is a life-skill, which deserves more appreciation than it currently receives. Personally, it has made me a more informed and confident individual, and I am not surprised that several scientific studies vindicate my transformation.
However, unfortunately, unlike in the US and UK, where debate is actively nurtured and encouraged in schools and colleges, Indian children have limited opportunities to participate in debates. I fully endorse the suggestion of many experts quoted in the story that debate should be introduced as a compulsory activity in schools.
Online safety imperative
I enjoyed reading the essay ‘Keeping children safe online & offline’ by Pooja Goyal (PW November). As parents we sometimes slip-up while monitoring our children’s online activities.
The online world is dangerous. Even while watching informational videos, unnecessary and shady website links pop up. Protecting children in the age of ubiquitous Internet usage isn’t easy. But parents need to make the time and effort to monitor children’s online activities, install safety controls, and impose daily screen usage time limits.
Fighting childhood obesity early
The interview with Dr. Mufazzal Lakdawala, founder and chief surgeon at Digestive Health Institute, Mumbai, on ways and means to prevent childhood obesity was enlightening (PW November). A rapidly growing number of children in India are becoming obese because of high consumption of junk food and sedentary lifestyles.
Recently, I came across a news report which suggested that lack of exercise in healthy women during pregnancy can predispose their children to obesity. The report quoted researchers who found that pregnant women who performed light exercises helped their infants develop better motor skills, muscular strength and coordination. However, one must consult a gynaecologist before embarking on any physical exercise
Rediscovering the benefits of cycling
Thanks for your latest Activity Zone story ‘Cycle your way to good health’. It rekindled my childhood love of cycling and inspired me to plan a Sunday morning cycle ride with my husband and friends. It was an exhilarating experience! Thanks PW for reigniting my passion for cycling.
I am a regular PW reader and love the blend of stories. The latest November issue had a wonderful selection of features focusing on 21st-century parenting challenges. I especially loved reading ‘Preparing your child for a new sibling’. I’m a mother of two and know how hard it gets to manage and balance office work, kids and home duties.
The age-wise advice to parents on how they can help the older child adjust to a new sibling was very useful. I’m eagerly looking forward to reading more such useful stories in your upcoming editions.