SV debaters Laynie S & James F competing at the Wake Forest Invitational.

St. Vincent Debate, ranked in the top 10% in the country, is comprised of more than 70 SV students who compete against other students across the Bay Area, California and the US.  SV Debate coach Laila McClay says “SV Debate would never have the kind of success we enjoy without the incredible support of the parents of all these debaters.”  Some of those parents report, however, that Debate can lead to an increase in arguing at home.  McClay says that complaint is a common theme of Back to School Night conversations.

New research, reported last week by National Public Radio shows that it is those very arguments that teens have with parents that best prepares them to deal with negative peer pressure:

“Bottom line: Effective arguing acted as something of an inoculation against negative peer pressure.  Kids who felt confident to express themselves to their parents also felt confident being honest with their friends.  So, ironically the best thing parents can do is help their teenager argue more effectively. For this, Allen offers one word: listen.”

Read (or listen to) the full NPR story.