We want to prepare our children to deal with the world — including the worst parts of it. The students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School were well prepared by their teachers.
If you look at the students leading the national discussion about guns, they are the ones from the school’s debate team and drama program. These programs helped them become comfortable and confident in front of an audience and develop poise in an answering questions and addressing those who challenge their point of view.
Your children may never have to appear on television. They will have to give presentations, go to job interviews, and argue for a project or an opportunity they seek. Learning how to speak in public is a valuable skill that will benefit them throughout their lives.
Encourage your children to participate in debate, speech, and drama programs. If they aren’t available at their school, contact your local Toastmasters club about offering a Youth Leadership program.
It shouldn’t take a horrific tragedy to show us the importance of teaching our children to stand up for themselves and become engaged in public life. They need to learn how to express themselves effectively through eloquence, precision, and passion. This is one of the many lessons we need to take away from Stoneman Douglas.
Image from CNN as captured on YouTube.